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George Washington 

From a photograph of the famous Houdon bust at Mount Vernon 

Official portrait of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission 


Relating to tne Life ana Time of 


As Prepared and Issued By the 



ffi g imm of the 

1 313 1932 







President of the United States 


Vice President of the United States 
Speaker of the House of Representatives 

united states senate 
Simeon D. Fess Ohio. 

Vice Chairman 

Arthur Capper . Kansas. 

Carter Glass Virginia. 

Millard E. Tydings Maryland. 


Willis C. Hawley Oregon. 

John Q. Tilson Connecticut. 

Joseph W. Byrns : Tennessee. 

R. Walton Moore Virginia. 

presidential commissioners 

Mrs. Anthony Wayne Cook Pennsylvania. 

Mrs. John Dickinson Sherman Colorado. 

Henry Ford Michigan. 

C. Bascom Slemp . . . . r Virginia. 

Wallace McCamant Oregon. 

Albert Bushnell Hart Massachusetts 

George Eastman New York. 


Representative Sol Bloom 

Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart 




George Washington Bicentennial Celebration in 1932 1 

The George Washington Bicentennial 8 

Plans for the United States George Washington Bicenten- 
nial Celebration 15 

Program Covers Wide Range 17 

Unpublished Washington Letters 23 

President Hoover Writes Foreword for "Writings of George 

Washington" 26 

Every State, City, and Town to Participate in the Nine 

Months Bicentennial Celebration 31 

Mr. Bloom Promises Cooperation 33 

Massachusetts to Act as Host to Visitors in 1932 34 

George de Benneville Keim Appointed New Jersey Chairman . 3 8 

The Twelve George Washington Programs 40 

Aid for Teachers in Bicentennial Work 42 

Colleges Pleased with Washington Study Course 44 

Educational Data on Washington 46 

Make Washington Your Ideal 49 

United States George Washington Bicentennial Commission 

Offers Material to Libraries 50 

Library Idea Liked 54 

Plays and Pageants for Schools 5 5 

Reliving Washington's Life in Pageantry 57 

Music Associated With Washington 59 

A George Washington Atlas 61 

Blind of America Will Celebrate Washington's Bicentennial 65 

Radio Programs to Play Important Part in 1932 Celebration 66 

Committee to Select Official Picture of Washington 67 

Artists to Submit Designs for Washington Quarter 72 

Design of Quarter Dollar to be Changed in Commemoration 

of George Washington 75 

Original Washington Pictures to be Exhibited 77 

Washington Pictures Available to Writers 80 

Lasting Memorials to be Contributed by Government 82 

Restoration of Wakefield 85 

Wallpaper of Washington's Bedroom 88 

Washington's Home Town 91 

Yorktown Sesquicentennial Forerunner of Washington Bicen- 
tennial 96 

Engineering Memorial to Washington 99 

Broadway Plans to Honor Washington 105 

President Hoover Notified World's Greatest Suspension 

Bridge Will be Named for George Washington 107 



iv Contents 

D. A. R. Approves Name of "George Washington Memorial 

Bridge" for Hudson River Structure * 112 

All America to Sing "America" 114 

Society of the Cincinnati Will Honor Washington 116 

War Mothers and George Washington 118 

Scouts Distribute Mount Vernon Seeds 121 

Listing Eighteenth Century Business 122 

Helpful Suggestions 124 

George Washington Bicentennial Celebration to be World- 
Wide 128 

France and United States to Honor Memory of Washington 

at Paris Exposition 133 

Plans are Started For Action Abroad 135 

Other Nations Will Join in Honoring Washington 136 

Latin America to Pay Homage During 1932 Celebration. ... 139 

Foreign Cities Will Name Streets and Squares for Washington 143 

Mount Vernon Walnut Seeds Planted Abroad 145 

Americans Residing Abroad Organize for 1932 Events 146 

Washington's Love for His Mother 150 

George Washington Had to Overcome Obstacles as a Boy. . 154 

Sea Voyage of Washington and Hoover 157 

Washington Hunted Buffalo and Bear 159 

Washington Hunted on Hoover Camp Site 160 

Fort Necessity to be Rebuilt 161 

Braddock's Defeat Brought Washington Fame as Fighter. ... 163 

When Washington Ran for Office 165 

George Washington Sees a Coal Mine 167 

Declaration of Independence Hailed With Joy by Washington 171 

Washington Elected Commander-in-Chief 174 

That Glorious Christmas of '76 176 

Washington's Only Fourth of July Address 181 

Washington Assumed Command at Cambridge 184 

That Winter at Valley Forge 186 

Where Washington Crossed the Delaware 190 

The Battle of Princeton 192 

Washington Prevented Rout at Monmouth 196 

How Washington Observed Christmas 199 

British Fire Salute in Honor of Washington 204 

Lee's Bravery Wins Washington's Praise 204 

American Privateers Harass British During Revolutionary War 205 

Battle of Kings Mountain 208 

Washington and the Thirteenth Colony 211 

Six Washington Birthdays Spent Near British Lines 214 

General Washington's Important Headquarters 217 

Contents v 


Patriotic Farmers Eager to Join Army 221 

Public Health In Washington's Day 222 

Medical Care of Washington's Soldiers 227 

Soldiers Placated by Washington 230 

Washington Was the Father of West Point 231 

Washington Grateful for Gifts to Soldiers 234 

Tories Conspired to Kidnap Washington 235 

Shortage of Powder 237 

Washington Had Many Narrow Escapes 238 

Washington's Victories Master Strokes 241 

Washington Indignant at Suggestion He Become "King". ... 245 

Famous Speech 247 

When the Revolution Ended 249 

German Colonial Patriots 401 

The Swedes in the American Revolution 407 

Irish Colonial Patriots 413 

Jewish Colonial Patriots 423 

Von Steuben Revived Ragged Continentals 430 

Honoring Von Steuben's Memory 432 

American Patriotism Amazed Rochambeau 43 5 

Polish Hero's Birthday Recalls War Exploits 437 

First Flag Was Not "Stars and Stripes" 439 

Many Striking Designs 439 

Call on Betsy Ross 441 

Our Flag is 154 Years Old! 441 

London Excited by First View of Ship Flying "Old Glory" . . 444 

Robert Morris Helped War of '76 With Own Money 446 

Alexander Hamilton's Achievements 450 

General Israel Putnam's Exploits 454 

The Patriotic Thomas Paine 459 

Versatile Benjamin Franklin 464 

Activities of Thomas Jefferson 468 

Story of "Mad Anthony" Wayne 471 

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride 477 

The Story of Nathan Hale 481 

John Jay — First Chief Justice. 485 

Anniversary of Patrick Henry's Birth 489 

Hamilton and Jefferson Traded Votes in Selecting Capital Site 492 

James Monroe Wounded at Trenton 494 

Birthday Anniversary of Madison 496 

President Adams First to Occupy White House 499 

When the British Left New York 251 

Washington's Memorable Farewell 253 

George Washington Resigns Commission 255 

vi Contents 


When Washington Became President 258 

Washington's Last Visit to His Mother 262 

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation 266 

First President Did Not Fear Operation 270 

Corner Stone of the Capital 271 

Only Two Bills Vetoed by Washington 273 

Muscle Shoals Worried Washington 276 

Government Printing in Washington's Time and Now 277 

University of Pennsylvania Conferred Honorary Degree on 

George Washington 279 

Washington Received Degrees From Five Colleges 281 

Washington's Tour of Southern States 283 

"See America First" Was Washington's Advice 286 

George Washington and Peace 288 

An Indissoluble Union 292 

Origin of "Father of Country" 294 

Washington Twice Commander-in-Chief 295 

Washington and the Constitution 298 

First Law Under the Constitution 300 

Letter From Monroe to Washington 304 

Money in Washington's Day 307 

Communication in Washington's Day 309 

George Washington's Wedding 311 

Martha Washington Gave Full Measure in Patriotic Service 316 

George Washington, Fisherman 319 

Washington Sent Money to Madame Lafayette in 1793 321 

Washington Bought a Chariot by Mail 3 24 

Secretary Hyde Tells About Washington's Plows 326 

Senator Capper Discusses Washington's Farm Problems 329 

George Washington Branded His Cattle 335 

Farmer Washington Also Suffered From Drought 337 

Washington Tried Siberian and South African Wheat 340 

Mount Vernon Named for British Admiral 342 

Washington as a Manufacturer 343 

Washington's Fish Business 346 

George Washington the Bookman 349 

Washington Pleased by "Home Town" Ball 352 

Mount Vernon Became a Mecca at End of War. '. 354 

Friends Sent Washington Numerous Gifts 356 

Washington's Last Birthday 358 

Washington Wrote Will Without Legal Aid 362 

Service Ships Toll Bells as They Pass Mount Vernon 3 64 

The Coat From Washington's Own Back 365 

Washington Spent Much Time in Independence Hall 367 

Contents vii 


Dramatic History of Independence Hall 368 

Independence Voted July 2, 1776 370 

Liberty Bell May Ring Again 373 

Richard Henry Lee's Independence Resolution 378 

French Colonial Patriots 380 

Polish Colonial Patriots 390 

George Washington Was Interested In Orphans 502 

Washington Was Pioneer in Public Schools 5 04 

Washington's Belief in a Supreme Being 508 

Washington's Religious Attitude 514 

Washington Worshipped in 34 Churches 520 

George Washington's Advice to a Young Lady 524 

George Washington, Road Builder 527 

Painters and Paintings of George Washington 529 

A Rare Bust of George Washington 540 

Athenaeum Portrait of George Washington 541 

Houdon Bust Formally Dedicated in Virginia 543 

First Congress Urged to Feed on "Wild Pigeons" 545 

Twenty Lexingtons and Fifteen Concords 546 

Army Officers Made "Naval Commanders" in First United 

States Fleet 548 

Three Presidents Died on July 4 550 

The "Old North State" in the Revolution 553 

Anniversary of Vermont's Statehood 557 

Virginia Ratified Constitution 143 Years Ago 562 

Granite State Revolutionary Heroes 565 

Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War 570 

Maine in the Revolutionary War 574 

Anniversary of Ticonderoga 578 

Kentucky's Admission to the Union 579 

Tennessee's Admission to the Union 582 

First Washington's Birthday Celebration West of the Mis- 
sissippi 584 

When Delaware Ratified 586 

South Carolina's Heroes of the Revolution 591 

New Hampshire Ratifies 598 

"Molly Pitcher" To Be Honored in '32 601 

Ancient Bell Clapper for Christ Church in Alexandria 602 

First "Sub" Used in Revolution 604 

Visitors Interested in Washington's Swords 605 

Speculation and Worthless Money 606 

George Washington and Aviation 609 

United States Army's Two Washington Regiments 611 


IN RESPONSE to an increasing number of requests 
for copies of newspaper articles and releases of his- 
toric interest prepared and issued by the Publicity De- 
partment of the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission, this material is being selected 
and re-edited for distribution to the newspapers and 
special writers of this and other countries. 

This First Volume of selected publicity material 
covers the period of the Commission's activities from 
March 1, 1930, to July 1, 1931. Volume Two will 
cover the period from July 1, 1931, to the end of the 
celebration, Thanksgiving Day, 1932. 

It is of special interest and significance that complete 
files of these releases are desired by newspaper editors for 
permanent reference. Probably never before have 
newspapers placed such value upon current publicity 
material furnished them. This is indeed a gratifying 
tribute to the experienced judgment and sound qualifi- 
cations of those responsible for the conduct of this im- 
portant service. 

When the United States Commission began the work 
of departmental organization, it was realized that 
nothing was of greater importance than the perfecting 
of processes for bringing the origin, purpose and plans 
of the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission to the attention of the American people. 
Publicity was, of course, essential. But such publicity 
could hardly be along conventional lines. Strict histori- 
cal accuracy was mandatory, but beyond that, were 
problems never before encountered by publicity 



Since this is the most original and comprehensive pro- 
gram of commemoration ever undertaken by any gov- 
ernment, it follows that its publicity campaign must 
also be original and upon a scale never before formu- 

The publicity problems were many and required 
most careful study and the exercise of professional skill 
of the soundest character. Our subject was George 
Washington, and to make this great man live again and 
become a vital force in the minds and hearts of the 
American people, was a project of magnitude. 

The organization of the Publicity Department of the 
Commission began early in the Spring of 1930, when 
the Associate Directors selected Edgar P. Allen to 
head this important department of the Commission 
organization. Mr. Allen is a newspaper and magazine 
writer of superior attainments and public relations con- 
sultant of long experience, who has carried on his work 
with commendable industry and ability. The organi- 
zation of this department has gone forward upon a 
carefully prepared schedule that has culminated in what 
leading authorities agree, is the most complete service of 
its kind ever perfected. 

Our publicity work has, of course, included prac- 
tically every available channel of publicity approach. 
While we have taken advantage of such admirable op- 
portunities as are offered by radio, motion pictures, 
news reels, public addresses, service for the blind in 
Braille, magazines of all kinds, photography, posters, 
etc., the substantial foundation of the publicity cam- 
paign has been the American newspapers. 

It is also a pleasure as well as an obligation to acknowl- 

Introduction xi 

edge the unselfish and invaluable services of the entire 
publicity staff whose constant contact with the Ameri- 
can press has been a delight and inspiration. The per- 

Edgar P. Allen, Director of Publicity 


Assistant Director of Publicity 

H. O. Bishop Col. H. S. Kimberly 

Historical Research Photographic Service 

Hazel B. Nielson Donald A. Craig 

School Activities Foreign Participation 

James Hay, Jr. Burton Kline 

Magazines Speaker's Material 

Col. Frank P. Morgan Tefft Johnson 

Records and Statistics Motion Pictures 

J. T. Brown L. Lowell Johnson 

Juvenile Organizations Special Activities 

D. K. Edwards Emma P. Lincoln 

Fraternal Publications Radio Programs 

Wm. M. Stuart ¥m. T. Saffell 

Editorial Research Clipping Service 

R. H. Bailey Dorothea E. Jennings 

Religious Publications Braille Service for the Blind 

H. C. Caulsen Mrs. Florence Phillips 

Cooperation with Municipalities Librarian 


Supervisor of Publications 

Mary E. Turner Peggy Griffith 

Matilda Frantz Mrs. Margaret A. Fair 

Mrs. Ruth B. Thompson Josephine Frdzdman 

Mrs. Wm. H. Clements Lois Wilson 

Alice Farnsworth 

xii Introduction 

We hope this compilation will be a modest reminder 
to the American journalistic fraternity of our acknowl- 
edgment and gratitude for that wonderful cooperation 
which has made the success of this great Celebration 
possible, and that this work will serve its primary pur- 
pose as a permanent reference book for writers. 

It should be pointed out that this compilation of pub- 
licity material represents but a small part of the varied 
activities of the Publicity Department of this Commis- 
sion. These articles are selected because of their his- 
torical value. They deal with episodes, personalities and 
interesting events of the time of George Washington, 
and as one distinguished editor has expressed it: "They 
constitute a complete history of the Colonial period in 
newspaper English — plain, authentic and comprehen- 

Yet it must be borne in mind that no attempt has been 
made to write this history in chronological order or to 
duplicate the work of the historian. This book merely 
presents sketches without effort at sequence and prac- 
tically in the form in which they originally went to the 


Associate Director, 

United States George Washington 

Bicentennial Commission. 

Note: Most of the publications, projects and plans, which are 
mentioned in the articles contained in this book as being in course 
of preparation at the time the articles were originally released, have 
been now completed. 

George Washington Bicentennial Celebration in 1932 

To understand George Washington and what he 
means to America of today, we must think of him as 
a man and not as an ideal. 

As a man we can more nearly take his measure 
and estimate his greatness. The glamor that has sur- 
rounded his name has tended to obscure his human 

It is not my purpose to dwell upon the heroic side 
of our greatest American. I want to impress upon the 
people of this country that George Washington was 
a normal man, subject to normal temptations, normal 
perplexities, and normal sorrows. 

The greatness of George Washington lies in the fact 
that he surmounted tremendous obstacles and accom- 
plished his purposes through sheer force of character 
and perseverance. 

Let us consider George Washington's career in the 
order of his outstanding accomplishments. 

First, there is the boy, the son of a Virginia farmer, 
living in the country and having limited educational 

This boy, destined by Providence for such historic 
achievements, was a normal boy. He was in every 
sense a good boy, obedient and ambitious. Although 
he had scant opportunities for schooling, he made the 
most of what he had. 

At an age when other boys are mostly concerned in 


Washington Bicentennial 

sports and play, George Washington was seriously de- 
voted to the study of a profession. When barely 16 
years old, he was commissioned to perform a respon- 
sible piece of surveying work which sent him into the 
wilderness. There he encountered dangers and priva- 
tions that would have daunted a less sturdy soul. That 
he performed this work of surveying well has been 
shown by repeated resurveys along the lines he laid 

We find him again when not yet of age, commis- 
sioned to perform important military and diplomatic 
exploits into the frontier country. 

Inheriting the great estate of Mount Vernon while 
still a young man, George Washington showed un- 
usual interest in the subject of farming. He was the 
first scientific farmer in this country. He was the first 
student of methods of improving livestock, of rotating 
crops and of diversified agriculture. Had George 
Washington done nothing more than devote himself to 
the study of agriculture, he would have been America's 
pioneer authority on that subject. 

Not only was George Washington a farmer, but he 
was one of the foremost business men of his time. He 
knew how to make his farms profitable. He had a 
commercial vision far beyond his contemporaries. He 
organized corporations, opened mines and quarries, and 
did a considerable shipping business. 

George Washington was the first inland waterways 
advocate. He actually surveyed and planned water- 
way connections between the Ohio Valley and the At- 

News Releases 

lantic seaboard, which he was unable to complete be- 
cause of the stress of the times. 

George Washington looked beyond the boundaries of 
the original thirteen Colonies and his eyes rested upon 
the Pacific Ocean as the limits of the future Republic. 
To him, more than to any other man, is due that im- 
petus to foreign trade which has ever been America's 
outstanding business policy. 

But George Washington was too great a man to live 
in the peaceful security of his plantation home. The 
state of the Colonies demanded the resourcefulness, the 
calm judgment, and the character of its greatest men. 
George Washington had all of these qualities to a 
greater extent than any other man upon American soil. 
He was a natural leader, and instilled into his country- 
men that spirit of confidence and devotion which made 
the winning of the War of the Revolution a possibility. 

It was George Washington who realized more than 
any man of the time what the freedom of the Colonies 
meant to the men and women who were to come after 
him. It was his council, his judgment, and his sure 
knowledge of men that guided the infant Republic in 
the formation of our present system of Federal 

In advocating American independence, George Wash- 
ington staked his life, his property and the interests 
of his family. He realized, perhaps more than any 
other man, the hazards and uncertainties of a war for 

Great as were George Washington's achievements as 

Washington Bicentennial 

a soldier, far greater were his achievements as a states- 
man and a citizen. 

As the first President, he faced problems never before 
faced by any man. By his wisdom, by his patience, by 
his persistence, he molded the destinies of the young 
Republic and placed it upon a sure foundation for 
future growth. As we study the life of this great man, 
there develop new and interesting phases of his char- 

Has America sufficiently honored the memory of 
George Washington? I unhesitatingly say it has not. 
It is gratifying to every American citizen to realize 
that the United States is preparing now to express in 
the most appropriate way possible the honor which is 
his due. 

The Congress of the United States, in recognition of 
the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 
Washington, which will be observed in 1932, has 
created a Commission to formulate plans fittingly to 
honor his memory. 

At the head of this Commission is the President of 
the United States. Other members of the Commission 
are the Vice President of the United States, the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives, four United States 
Senators, four members of the House of Representa- 
tives, and eight presidential commissioners. 

Congress has asked the governors of the various States 
to appoint State commissions to cooperate with the Na- 
tional Commission. It is the purpose of the associate 
director to make this celebration nation-wide and all- 

We have no exposition in mind. There will be no 

News Releases 

world's fair, no concentration of material evidences of 
the Nation's growth. 

The celebration will be in the hearts of the people 
themselves. It will be in the nature of a revival of 
knowledge of and appreciation for our greatest Amer- 
ican and the greatest human being in all history. 

The Federal Government has authorized the publi- 
cation of all of the definitive writings of George Wash- 
ington, which will be published as a memorial edition 
in approximately 25 volumes. The great Memorial 
Boulevard between Washington and Mount Vernon is 
under construction and will be one of the most beau- 
tiful highways in all the world. A regional park system 
for the National Capital, unsurpassed in America, is 
now authorized by Congress as a George Washington 
Memorial Parkway. This great parkway will include 
some of the beautiful and historic places with which 
George Washington has been identified. 

Congress has also established Wakefield, Washing- 
ton's birthplace in Virginia, as a national park and there 
has been erected upon the site a replica of the house in 
which George Washington was born. It is also pro- 
posed to build in the City of Washington a great George 
Washington Memorial Auditorium, which is most ur- 
gently needed. 

These are Federal projects contributed, or to be 
contributed, by the Government itself. It is the pur- 
pose of the associate director to bring the message of 
George Washington to every church, every home, every 
school, and every group of citizens in the United States. 
We want to offer an opportunity to each man, woman, 

Washington Bicentennial 

and child in America to participate in this national 

In our plans it is proposed to foster and encourage 
in all parts of the country local, regional, and State cele- 
brations. These celebrations the people themselves will 
organize and take part in them. It is hoped that in 
1932 there will not be a school room or school building 
in the United States without its pictures of George 
Washington. It is hoped that there will not be a school 
or a church or a home that will not display the Ameri- 
can flag with appropriate reminders of what it means 
in our national life. It is proposed to hold essay con- 
tests, pageants, plays, and exercises of similar kinds in 
public schools. In like manner we want to enlist the 
cooperation of all the clubs, associations, fraternal 
organizations, and miscellaneous groups of people. 

Not only do we want to impress upon the Nation 
its debt to George Washington, but also our debt to 
other heroes associated with him. We want to remem- 
ber those splendid men and women, many of them of 
foreign birth, who offered their lives upon the altar of 
American independence. We want to remember Von 
Steuben, De Kalb, and the Muhlenbergs. We want to 
remember Carroll, Barry, Knox, and the host of other 
Irish patriots. We want to remember with gratitude 
Kosciuszko, Pulaski, and other Polish heroes. We want 
to remember Benjamin Nones, who has been called the 
"Jewish Lafayette," the Pintos and others of the Jewish 
race, who offered themselves and their fortunes to the 
cause of freedom. We want to remember Lafayette, 
Rochambeau, and all that other host of equally heroic 
men and women of the Italian, Swedish, Spanish, and 

News Releases 

other European races, who performed their parts so 
valiantly. Many of them came from across the seas to 
help the cause of the Colonies. 

George Washington was the magnet who drew all 
those brave men to him. George Washington was a 
man above all others who inspired confidence and de- 
votion among those ragged, hungry, and suffering troops 
who struggled bravely and triumphantly forward under 
his leadership. 

We Americans today still have our differences in 
origin and in character. We still have our different 
viewpoints and our different opinions. We still struggle 
for various ideals and principles, but we can all rally 
today under the leadership of George Washington, as 
did those splendid Americans of 1 5 years ago. 

In honoring the memory of George Washington 
there can be no division and no dispute. He is so 
transcendently great as to continue his influence down 
through the years. In all the records of his life, in every 
letter, speech and act, which can be traced to him, there 
is not one weakness or one mistake. Wherever the flag 
flies today, those under its protecting folds should re- 
member that it was George Washington who established 
that flag and what it stands for. In a world of bitter- 
ness, hostility, and oppression George Washington 
brought freedom and human liberty. Wherever people 
are free, they should remember those men who gave the 
world freedom. Wherever there is protection, peace, 
and security, a prayer of thanksgiving should be offered 
that George Washington lived and wrought. 

We of the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission have a tremendous responsibility. 

8 Washington Bicentennial 

It is our duty to arouse throughout the Nation a proper 
sense of gratitude to the Founder of the Republic. In 
this task we can not act alone. It is for all Americans 
of all nationalities and creeds, of all conditions and cir- 
cumstances, to make the year 1932 a year of thought 
and reverence for the memory of George Washington. 
He was so intimately associated with all affairs of life, 
with the church, with statesmanship, with agriculture, 
with business, with education, with commerce, and, in 
fact, every phase of healthful citizenship, that no class 
of our people can disregard their debt to him. 

In the task before us we want the people themselves 
to give us suggestions upon various phases of the cele- 
bration. Please address your suggestions to the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
Washington, D. C. 

So let us now dedicate in our hearts the memory of 
this man. Let us resolve that we shall do him honor 
and reverence for what he was and what he has given 
to us. I leave with you this appeal as Americans all, 
in the freedom and enlightenment which George 
Washington brought into the world. 

The George Washington Bicentennial 

Created by special act of Congress and financed by 
the Federal Treasury, the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission, with offices in the 
National Capital, is planning for 1932 a celebration of 
the two hundredth anniversary of Washington's birth- 
day, which will be unprecedented in extent and entirely 
original in character and method. 

News Releases 

For an event of this kind, it will be unprecedented 
in extent, because it will be world-wide and will last 
nine months, from February 22, 1932, through Thanks- 
giving of that year. From Alaska to Ceylon, from Vir- 
ginia to Japan, wherever Americans reside and human 
beings respond to the inspiration of a great man's ca- 
reer, honor will be paid to the Father of his country. 

According to the plans of the Commission, the whole 
United States is to become alive with pageantry, through 
which the figure of Washington will move as he was 
in life. Every school in America is to receive a picture 
of the Father of His Country. Every home that housed 
him, every building in which he spent but a night, is to 
be festooned with flags and bunting. The battle fields 
he lost and won are to echo oratory and resound to 
martial music. 

The trails he blazed and the roads he traveled are to 
be mapped and marked anew. Great bridges, buildings, 
and engineering projects will be named in his honor. 
In every American city and village, in the nation's 
singing, prayers, and preaching, time and time again 
throughout the celebration period, the principles and 
ideals of Washington, the peace-time and military 
achievements of Washington, the times and associates 
of Washington, will be emphasized, recreated and 
made a part of the people's thinking and feeling, so that 
love of country shall become a flaming and mighty 
force in their lives. 

The tribute will be original in character in that the 
Commission, instead of trying to attract the public to 
one central point by staging a world's fair, exposition or 

10 Washington Bicentennial 

entertainment, will take the celebration directly to the 
people at large in their cities, villages, and homes. 

To appreciate how this unique commemoration will 
be accomplished, it is necessary to comprehend the 
machinery that is planning it. The United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission is headed 
by the President of the United States as its chair- 
man, and its personnel consists of distinguished men 
and women representing all sections of the United 
States. Its duties, as set forth in the act of Congress 
which brought it into being in 1924, are to arouse in- 
terest in the 1932 celebration, to formulate and execute 
plans for its successful observance, and to collect and 
disseminate information about Washington and his 
times. Congress also stipulated that the States and ter- 
ritories of the Union be invited to cooperate in the 

All this work was begun under the management of 
two associate directors named by the executive com- 
mittee of the Commission — the Hon. Sol Bloom, mem- 
ber of Congress from New York, and Col. Ulysses S. 
Grant, 3rd, U. S. A. After serving a few months, how- 
ever, Colonel Grant presented his resignation, having 
found that the pressure of the work interfered with 
other official duties. Thus far his successor has not been 
named and Mr. Bloom is in sole charge. 

Thirty-three States of the Union* and the District of 
Columbia, Hawaii, and Alaska have appointed com- 
missions or representatives to cooperate with the Fed- 
eral commission and to plan the events and ceremonies 

* As of April, 1931. Since then commissions have been appointed in all States 
and Territories. 

News Releases 11 

through which their respective populations will take 
part in the celebration. It is, of course, only a matter 
of time until all the States will have taken similar 

Secretary of State Stimson has designated Assistant 
Secretary William R. Castle, Jr., as the State Depart- 
ment official through whom Director Bloom will invite 
all foreign countries to join in the event and to plan 
their own special ceremonies. Unofficial advices to the 
Commission are that these invitations will be enthu- 
siastically accepted. 

To make the world "coverage" complete, all Amer- 
icans residing abroad will be asked to stage celebration 
rites and events. Already in London and Paris George 
Washington Bicentennial committees have been set up 
by resident Americans to secure large memberships and 
formulate appropriate plans. Similar bodies are being 
organized also in Germany, Poland, Italy, and other 
European countries. 

Moreover, to disseminate continuously throughout 
the world all the news of the celebration plans, the Com- 
mission has obtained permission from the State Depart- 
ment to send its publicity and other literature in the 
diplomatic mail pouches to all United States ambassa- 
dors, ministers, and consuls general. This same ma- 
terial also will be mailed to all American consuls and 
to all agents of the Departments of Commerce and Ag- 
riculture stationed abroad, who will give it the widest 
publicity possible. 

The Commission emphasizes that this is to be a coun- 
try-wide and globe-girdling celebration, with each 
country, state, and town selecting its own "key dates" — 

12 Washington Bicentennial 

such as Decoration Day, Mother's Day, July 4, Labor 
Day — for climactic events in the form of pageants, 
plays, orations, parades, and community singing. 

The national ceremonies will begin on February 22 
next year, when from the national capital President 
Hoover will broadcast an address on George Washing- 
ton. Following him on the air will come the United 
States Marine Band, an organization which, by the way, 
existed in Washington's day as a fife and drum corps. 
The plan is that, as this band plays "America," the people 
through their radios all over this country and in many 
foreign lands will hear it and sing the national anthem 
to its accompaniment. In that vision of all Americans 
simultaneously singing, is conveyed a dramatic picture 
of what the Commission means when it declares that 
it will carry the celebration to the people. 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission has adopted an ambitious program in order 
to stir the public's enthusiasm and to distribute infor- 
mation about Washington. 

It is making a motion picture of the life of Wash- 
ington which it regards not only as excellent entertain- 
ment but also as an absolutely accurate record of Wash- 
ington's acts and of the customs, costumes, and build- 
ings of his time. Because the Commission is a govern- 
ment agency which consistently refuses to be connected 
with any commercial or profit-making projects, it has 
been given access to places and dramatic "properties" 
that have never been, and probably never will again be, 
available to a maker of pictures. 

It is allowed, for instance, the unprecedented privilege 
of using the interior of Mount Vernon for some of the 

News Releases 13 

picture scenes; and various museums have loaned for 
this work Washington's surveying instruments and some 
of the very garments worn by him and his wife. Copies 
of the film will be distributed in 1932 to the schools and 
colleges of the country. 

Among other features of the Commission's program 
are: 16 pamphlets, later to be combined in a book en- 
titled "Honor to Washington," dealing with the dif- 
ferent phases and activities of the man, such as Wash- 
ington the Business Man, the Religious Man, the Mili- 
tary Man, the Traveler, and so on. These pamphlets 
are either to be written or edited by Dr. Albert Bush- 
nell Hart, the eminent Harvard historian, who is in 
charge of the Commission's Historical Division. They 
will soon be available to libraries, students, and writers. 

A definitive, memorial edition, in 25 volumes, will be 
issued, of "The Writings of Washington," collected and 
edited by the well known Washington authority, Dr. 
John C. Fitzpatrick, of the Library of Congress, and 
containing many hitherto unpublished Washington 
letters and other papers. 

A Washington Atlas, containing maps showing many 
of the buildings with which he was closely associated, 
the roads he traveled and all the places he visited dur- 
ing his lifetime; 

A plan, in cooperation with the American Tree Plant- 
ing Association, to have ten million "Washington Trees" 
planted by cities, schools, churches, colleges, villages and 
fraternal organizations has already made considerable 

Designing of a medal to be struck in commemoration 

14 Washington Bicentennial 

of the celebration; distribution of 1,000,000 pictures of 
Washington to the country's schools; furnishing sample 
pageants, plays, and recitations to schools, colleges, and 
communities to be used in celebrating the Bicentennial; 
collection of the music that was played and sung in 
Washington's day, and giving writers and students ac- 
cess to the truly prodigious store of Washingtoniana in 
the Commission's offices in Washington. 

In further official recognition of this celebration, 
Congress has authorized the Secretary of the Treasury 
to make all quarter dollar coins in 1932 official George 
Washington Memorial coins, with a profile portrait re- 
lief on one side and appropriate inscription upon the 
reverse side. This is the first time that a memorial coin 
has ever supplanted a regular issue of United States 

But the one thing which Associate Director Bloom 
and his assistants never cease to point out is that this 
celebration will be made a success by the people in their 
states, towns, and hamlets; that the Commission's duty 
is to give out information and suggestions; that every 
State and city will have its own commission which will 
determine the nature of its ceremonies and the type of 
its permanent memorial to Washington. 

The New York State Commission, for example, al- 
ready has before it three suggestions for such a memo- 
rial, one of which it will probably select. They are: a 
monument to Washington at the entrance to New York 
harbor, a park along the Palisades, and a building for 
Washingtoniana at Albany.* 

* Since this was written, the great new bridge across the Hudson from the 
vicinity of Fort Washington to Fort Lee has been named the George Washington 

News Releases 15 

"The people will do the celebrating," said Associate 
Director Bloom recently. "We shall take pleasure in 
offering them suggestions and giving them information 
whenever they want such cooperation." 

Plans for the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Celebration 

Hon. Sol Bloom, associate director of the United 
States Commission for the Celebration of the Two 
Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of George Wash- 
ington in 1932, recently made public some of the fea- 
tures of the program for nation-wide participation in 
the great historic event which is to make the two hun- 
dredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington. 

"We realize," said Congressman Bloom, "the serious 
responsibility which rests upon us in the program now 
under consideration. It is a work of such magnitude 
that it will require many more months to work out any- 
thing like a complete plan of operation. Yet I believe 
it is due to the public that such information as is now 
available shall be given out in order that the men, 
women, and children of America can devote some pre- 
liminary thought to their immediate interests in its 
various phases. 

"State, regional, and local organizations will furnish 
speakers for many occasions. They will use the radio 
whenever possible. Ministers will be asked to preach 
frequently upon the character and example of George 
Washington. In addition to this local work and in sup- 
port of it, we are now completing plans for reaching the 
school children of the land through cooperation with 

16 Washington Bicentennial 

the national organization of State superintendents, 
teachers, and authorities of parochial schools, private 
schools, colleges, and universities. In this way it is pro- 
posed to conduct a nation-wide participation of school 
children not alone in the various essay, oratorical, and 
other contests, plays, and pageants, but by including 
during the school year of 1932 special instruction 
through additional patriotic features in the curricula. 

"The associate director is working out many sug- 
gestions and details that fit into the general program, 
and these will be announced as each divisional subject 
is rounded out. We believe that as these plans mature 
the public will be more and more interested in giving 
us suggestions and in cooperating with us, so that the 
exalted character and historic achievements of George 
Washington may be fittingly revived in the minds and 
hearts of the American people." 

Congressman Bloom further explained that, "while 
the entire year of 1932 will be a George Washington 
year, it is proposed to concentrate the patriotic observ- 
ances within the period from February 22 to Thanks- 
giving Day of that year. This will, of course, take in 
the vacation months, when it is to be expected that 
many people will wish to come to Washington to satisfy 
their curiosity as to their beautiful National Capital, 
which George Washington located and founded, the 
wealth of historic objects and material here, the many 
interesting phases of Government activities, and to take 
advantage of such an opportunity to visit the many 
stirring and inspiring shrines in the near-by States con- 
nected with his youth and adult life." 

To provide for these many visitors the local com- 

News Releases 17 

mittee appointed by the district commissioners is being 
asked to make special arrangements, as well as to assist 
these gatherings and meetings of leading men and 
women in the fields of education, religion, science, and 
social service, already scheduled to insure a successful 
and enjoyable sojourn. 

"But," pointed out Mr. Bloom, "this is not to be 
misunderstood. No concentration of the celebration 
is proposed in any one locality. Washington was the 
father of the entire country and, as the happy effects 
of his wise and patriotic work extend to every corner 
of our far-flung land, so should the celebration of the 
two hundredth anniversary of his birth." 

Program Covers Wide Range 

The comprehensive program of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, designed 
to bring to every State and Territory, every county, 
city, and town of the country a series of celebrations 
which begin on February 22, next year, and end on 
Thanksgiving Day of that year, is presented by the as- 
sociate directors of the Commission. 

It is thought that the present program, which will be 
constructively added to from time to time, will pre- 
sent to every individual in the United States, as well as 
thousands of Americans abroad a clear picture of George 
Washington, the inspiration of his example, and the 
power of his influence today. 

The entire program has been carefully mapped out, 
with great attention to detail, and is being pushed for- 
ward vigorously, so that the entire country may awaken 

18 Washington Bicentennial 

spiritually to the noble example of Washington, and 
take part in the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. 
The wide scope of the work which the Commission 
is doing is shown by the following outline of its activi- 
ties, as taken from its organization chart: 

Educational Activities 

This classification visualizes the general and specific 
educational work of different departments of the or- 
ganization, through the preparation and distribution to 
educational institutions and to all organizations — patri- 
otic, social, religious, business, labor, etc. — of literature, 
study courses, programs for meetings, articles for pub- 
lication, address, papers, etc., all relating to George 
Washington and his time. 

Organization Contacts 
Patriotic societies. 
Parent-Teacher groups. 
Clubs and other organizations. 
Schools, all educational institutions and groups. 

Assistance to Organizations 
Pamphlet of 12 programs. 
Papers, addresses, broadcasts. 
Special features. 
Washington bibliography. 
Washington chronology. 
Lantern slides. 

Articles for organization publications. 
Preparation of teachers' training course. 
Aid in illiteracy work. 

News Releases 19 

Juvenile Activities 
Service for the blind. 
Kindergartens, elementary schools. 
Boy Scouts. 
Girl Scouts. 
Camp Fire Girls. 

Special Activities 

Under this title are included activities of different de- 
partments not included in any of the other classifica- 
tions. These activities are among the most important 
functions of the Commission and are constantly expand- 
ing as the work proceeds. 

Motion Picture (Life of George Washington) . 

Art Loan Exhibit. 

Participation by Foreign Governments. 

Collection of Washingtoniana. 

Firms in Business Continuously Since Colonial Period. 

Oratorical and Essay Contest. 

Tree Planting. 

Office Historical Record. 
Contacts With Cooperating Organization as Follows: 

State Commissions. 

City and Town Committees. 

Patriotic and Veteran Societies controlling patriotic 
shrines, such as Mount Vernon, "Wakefield, Yorktown, 

Churches and religious groups. 


Labor. • 


20 Washington Bicentennial 



Plays and Pageants 

Under this title are included the writing, collection 
and selection of plays and pageants in the Life of Wash- 
ington for distribution to organizations everywhere, es- 
pecially schools of all grades and churches, fraternities, 
dramatic organizations and patriotic bodies. 

Collection, selection and arrangement of all existing 
one-act and full-length plays. 

Writing of one-act plays and special plays for stage 
and radio production. 

Arrangement and direction of radio competition and 
prize competition for full-length plays. 

Distribution of all such plays to organization, com- 
munities, clubs, civic bodies, educational institution, etc., 
such as: 

Civic, Municipal and State, 

Schools and Colleges, 

Patriotic and Veteran, 

Agricultural and Horticultural, 

Dramatic and Literary, <• 

Fraternal and Labor, 

Business and Government, 

Women's and Social. 

Collection and selection of existing episodic scenes. 

Compilation of reference list of all pageants now pub- 
lished or to be published. 

News Releases 21 

Production of special pageants. 

Distribution to organizations, communities and edu- 
cational institutions such as: 

Civic, Municipal and State, 

Schools and Colleges, 

Patriotic and Veteran, 

Agricultural and Horticultural, 

Dramatic and Literary, 

Fraternal and Labor, 

Business and Government, 

Women's and Social. 

Collection of all data and authentic costumes and ma- 
terial of the Colonial Period; uniforms of Revolution- 
ary War soldiers (American, British and French) ; types 
of civic dress of men and women for all occasions; re- 
production of illustrations of such costumes for use of 
organizations in production of plays and pageants. 


This work includes the writing and editing of his- 
torical publications and assistance on historical subjects 
to other departments. 

"Honor to George Washington." 

Writings of George Washington. 



Editorial work. 

Assistance to other departments. 

All publicity material of the Commission is handled 
through the Department of Publicity. The work of 

22 Washington Bicentennial 

this department includes the collection — alone, and in 
cooperation with all other departments — of news, in- 
formation and pictures, relating to George Washington 
and the Bicentennial Celebration, and its distribution 
throughout the world. It includes service to news- 
papers and press syndicates and assistance to writers, 
speakers and producers of moving picture news-reels. 




Bicentennial News. 

Clip Sheet. 

Editorial Contacts. 

Feature Writers. 


Braille Publicity. 

News Services. 

Maps and Layouts. 


Foreign Language Press. 

Addressograph Lists. 

Editing Office Publications. 

Information Service. 

Preparation of Addresses. 

Broadcasting Dates. 

Scheduling Features. 

Cooperating Stations. 

Governors, State Commissions. 
Motion Picture News Reels 

Publicity Shots. 

News Releases 23 





Art Features 





Cards, Menus, etc. 

Posters, etc. 


Cooperating Agencies. 

Writers, Editors, Publishers. 

Editorial Associations. 

Advertising Agencies and Clubs. 

Schools and College Publications. 

Newspaper Articles. 

Magazine Articles. 

Press Releases. 


Bicentennial News. 

Unpublished Washington Letters 

"Where are the unpublished letters of George Wash- 
ington?" That is the question which seems to be wor- 
rying Lieut. Col. U. S. Grant 3d, formerly associate 

24 Washington Bicentennial 

director of the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission, these days. "By a specific act of 
Congress," explained the Colonel, "the 'Writings of 
George Washington' are being compiled under the direc- 
tion of Dr. John C. Fitzpatrick, of the Library of Con- 
gress, as a monumental tribute of the Republic to the 
leading American of all time. This undertaking, in my 
opinion, will be one of the most valuable features of 
the National Celebration of the Two Hundredth Anni- 
versary of the Birth of George Washington in 1932." 

"Washington wrote voluminously," continued the 
Colonel. "During war and peace, as a soldier and as 
a statesman, Washington found time to answer dili- 
gently all his correspondence and to propound his views 
on all the leading questions of the day. To study Wash- 
ington, one must study his writings. While Washing- 
ton's papers — letters, journals, orderly books, account 
books, and diaries — have been preserved in sufficient 
quantity to supply material for some 25 volumes, yet 
according to Dr. Fitzpatrick and other leading authori- 
ties of Washington and his period, only one-half of 
Washington's letters have ever been published in the 131 
years since he died." 

And again Colonel Grant asked: "Where are the un- 
published letters of George Washington?" 

The Colonel then proceeded to answer, in part, his 
own question: "We know that some of Washington's 
letters have been wilfully destroyed and that some of 
them have been lost through negligence and careless- 
ness. Yet historians claim that there are many letters 
and papers — possibly hundreds of them — still in exist- 
ence which have never been published. Many of these 

News Releases 25 

documents are in the possession of people who do not 
realize their value to history. Every now and then a 
letter is discovered which had been locked up in a gar- 
ret for generations. Because of the westward move- 
ment after the Revolutionary War, such letters are apt 
to turn up in any part of the United States. And," con- 
tinued Colonel Grant, "it is this 'hidden' material which 
the Commission is exerting every effort to obtain." 

"When Congress authorized the printing of the 
'Writings of George Washington' it had in mind not 
only the compiling and editing of all the known papers 
of Washington but also a thorough search for all avail- 
able material heretofore unpublished. In brief, it was 
and is the aim of Congress and the United States Bi- 
centennial Commission to present to the people of our 
country as complete a written Washingtoniana as is 
possible to compile; to present to all Americans a com- 
posite picture of the Father of His Country through 
his writings — his physical appearance, his thoughts and 
actions, and his ideals." 

"Do you have any prospects of unearthing some new 
material on Washington?" the Colonel was asked. 

"Yes, we do," he replied. "My associate on the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
Representative Sol Bloom, of New York, and I are hav- 
ing every possible source of material investigated by ex- 
perts, with some interesting results. Documents have 
come to the attention of the Commission which hereto- 
fore have not been open to historians. However, there 
are still many historically valuable documents extant 
which the Commission is keenly desirous of knowing 
about. Individuals and societies having such papers are 

26 Washington Bicentennial 

requested to cooperate with us by permitting their ma- 
terial to be investigated, and, if authentic, to be used 
in this enterprise. The Commission will not ask any 
one to part with the original copies of such papers. All 
it desires is the privileges of making reprints of all un- 
published material to be found. All owners of such 
documents are asked to communicate directly with the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, Washington, D. C." 

"When will these writings be completed?" the Colo- 
nel was asked. 

"I am informed by Dr. Fitzpatrick," he replied, "that 
the first volume will be ready for publication by De- 
cember of this year. The remaining volumes will go 
to press as they are completed. The work in its entirety 
will cover some 25 volumes. They are to be published 
by the Government Printing Office and will be made 
available to the people of every State in the Union 
through the libraries." 

President Hoover Writes Foreword for "Writings 
of George Washington" 

President Hoover has written the foreword to the 
first volume of the "Writings of George Washington," 
the great memorial edition which was authorized by a 
specific act of Congress to commemorate the two hun- 
dredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington 
in 1932. This first volume has been completed and 
will be ready for distribution in a few weeks, according 
to the Division of Information and Publication of 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 

News Releases 27 

In a few printed pages the present engineer President, 
who is chairman of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission, pays his tribute to the 
first engineer President. 

This is the first volume of the memorial edition, 
which will be in an edition of about 25 volumes. The 
work is being edited by Dr. John C. Fitzpatrick, long a 
leading authority on George Washington and his time, 
for the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission. The undertaking is one of the major 
projects of the Commission in connection with the com- 
ing bicentennial celebration of the birth of the Father 
of His Country. 

The foreword, as written by the President of the 
United States, is as follows: 

"The people of the United States are justly proud of 
their literary men and women. They likewise are proud 
of their outstanding statesmen. Literary power and 
statesmanship were combined in George Washington, 
the greatest political leader of his time and also the 
greatest intellectual and moral force of the Revolu- 
tionary period. Everybody knows Washington as a 
quiet member of the Virginia Assembly, of the two 
Continental Congresses, and of the Constitutional Con- 
vention. Few people realize that he was also the most 
voluminous American writer of his period, and that his 
principles of government have had more influence on 
the development of the American commonwealth than 
those of any other man. 

"Unfortunately, Washington for many years was 
interpreted to his countrymen chiefly through warped 
biographies written upon a great deal of legendary 

28 Washington Bicentennial 

assumption. Until very recently no readable biography 
of George Washington in reasonable compass made him 
stand for what he was — the most potent human and 
intellectual force in a firmament of American intellect. 
Nowadays good biographies of Washington are avail- 
able, written from the sources. Many of them are de- 
voted to a particular phase of his activity — the military 
side, the political side, the personal side. Hence when 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission began its work, it did not attempt to inspire 
new biographies. It selected as its most important 
literary duty the making Washington better known, 
by spreading abroad his own thoughts and plans and 
hopes and inspirations in the exact form in which he 
framed them. 

"Thus one of the first decisions of the Commission 
was to provide an edition of Washington's writings as 
complete as possible, in a form which would make it 
available for the present generation and forever here- 
after. Of the two previous editions of Washington's 
Writings the first, a hundred years ago, was the 12- 
volume edition, edited by Jared Sparks, a pioneer in 
collecting and publishing historical documents. Proper 
canons in historical editing were not yet developed, and 
it hurt the feelings of Sparks if the great man misspelled 
or seemed to him ungrammatical. Therefore the Sparks 
edition can not be relied upon to tell us what Washing- 
ton actually did say. The edition of Worthington C. 
Ford, 40 years ago, was scholarly and carefully edited, 
but materials were then lacking for a complete edition, 
the production was limited by commercial considera- 
tions, and it is now out of print. 

News Releases 29 

"The Commission has set out to publish a definitive 
edition of all the written and printed words of George 
Washington in the form in which they left his hands, 
including several volumes of General Orders, almost the 
whole of which up to now had remained in manuscript 
only. Most of his original writings of every kind are 
fortunately preserved in the Library of Congress. Other 
libraries and private owners of manuscripts have per- 
mitted photostats to be made for inclusion in the great 
publication. When this series is completed, therefore, 
almost the whole of his reported thoughts will be within 
the reach of readers, investigators, and writers. 

"The United States George Washington Commission 
takes great satisfaction in rendering this public service; 
for as the publication of the new series progresses it will 
become more and more clear that the reputation of 
George Washington as a soldier, statesman, and man is 
enhanced by the record of everything that he is known 
to have committed to pen and paper. 

"One deviation has been made from the plan of in- 
cluding all of Washington's writings in this edition. The 
Diary has been recently published by a skillful editor, 
enlivened by interesting notes. It has therefore been 
left out of the new set. On the other hand, the General 
Orders, which are of great significance for the history 
of the Revolution, are now for the first time made avail- 
able in print, and will be distributed in the order of their 

"What is the message from Washington revealed by 
this complete and scholarly edition? First of all it in- 
cludes Washington's own graphic records of his experi- 
ences on the frontier while it was still in the possession 

30 Washington Bicentennial 

of the Indians. Throughout the series will be found 
letters and documents showing that he was the Ameri- 
can of his time who had the liveliest sense of the abso- 
lute necessity of occupying the West and making it a 
part of an American commonwealth. 

"The materials on his activity as a man of affairs, 
which are here brought into relief, bring home to the 
reader the picture of Washington as a landowner, land 
developer, and land cultivator. A much neglected side 
of his character is Washington as an engineer. His coun- 
trymen have not realized how modern he was in his 
engineering operations — as reclaimer of the Dismal 
Swamp; as advisor and engineer of the Potomac and 
James River Canal; as the first advocate of a combined 
highway and waterway from the Atlantic Coast to the 
Ohio River; as a bank director; as an investor; as one 
of the earliest Americans to recognize the possibilities 
of power transportation by water; and the first to sug- 
gest that air navigation might be very useful to the 
people of the United States. 

"What Washington says for himself will also be the 
foundation of our appreciation of his great abilities and 
immense services as the leader of the Continental Army. 
He was a thoroughly modern soldier, intensely interested 
in drill and tactics and plans of campaign, but equally 
unwearied in recruiting and supply and officering and 
in maintaining the morale of his troops. All the efforts 
to show that Washington had no military genius will 
fade away under the searchlight of this publication of 
his military material, much of it for the first time. 

"If nothing had been written by others about Wash- 
ington's leadership in forming a new nation, his papers 

News Releases 31 

and correspondence while President would forever es- 
tablish him as a great constructive statesman. His pri- 
vate virtues are set forth from the earliest boy's letters 
down to the last entry that he made in his diary. Wash- 
ington with his wife's children and grandchildren stands 
out as clearly as Washington at Yorktown. 

"The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission is undertaking to throw light upon the 
character of Washington in many ways. None will be 
more enduring than this collection of his own words 
and thoughts. The addresses, the pageants, the public 
meetings, and the memorials of every kind which the 
Commission will encourage and support, will call public 
attention to the most striking of the events in his life. 
But a hundred years after 1932 Washington will still be 
appealing to the sense, the interest, the public spirit, and 
the patriotism of that later age, by the great thoughts 
of his mind, by his great hopes for his country, and by 
the simple, straightforward, elevated, manly, and patri- 
otic spirit of which these Writings will be the imperish- 
able record." 

(Signed) Herbert Hoover, 
President of the United States, 
Chairman of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

Washington, D. C, November 19, 1930. 

Every State, City, and Town to Participate in the 
Nine Months Bicentennial Celebration 

These points should be emphasized with respect to 
the Celebration of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of 
the Birth of George Washington next year: 

32 Washington Bicentennial 

1. It is sponsored by the United States Government: 
Congress created the United States George Washing- 
ton Bicentennial Commission and the President of the 
United States is its chairman. 

2. It will not be a world's fair or exposition, and it 
will not be held in any one place. 

3. It will be a nation-wide, even a world-wide series 
of celebrations in which every state, city, and town — 
every organization and institution, every home and in- 
dividual — in this country, together with Americans and 
others in many foreign countries, will participate. Every 
community is expected to plan and carry out its own 
program of events, in cooperation with the United 
States Commission and the State Commissions. 

4. It will last from Washington's Birthday, February 
22, 1932, to Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1932, 
with special local and national celebrations everywhere 
on all holidays, anniversaries, or other days which can be 
connected with the life of George Washington. 

5. While the ceremonies on February 22 should be 
especially elaborate and impressive, as marking the ac- 
tual Two Hundredth Anniversary of George Washing- 
ton's Birth, arrangements also should be made for pub- 
lic gatherings, pageants, plays, processions, musical fes- 
tivals, tableaux, and other events at various times dur- 
ing the entire period of more than nine months. Every 
program should relate to the great life and work of the 
First President and Founder of the Republic. On Me- 
morial Day, Mothers' Day, Flag Day, Independence 
Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and other national 
and local holidays or anniversaries there should be spe- 

News Releases 33 

cial programs, but the celebration should not be con- 
fined to these days. 

6. It will take time to prepare the local programs and 
arrange for the local celebrations. The United States 
Commission urges mayors and other officials of every 
city and town in the country to appoint George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commissions or Committees, in or- 
der to prepare for the events of the Bicentennial Year. 

7. All organizations and institutions of whatever 
character — civic, business, labor, educational, religious, 
fraternal, literary, social, and others — are urged to plan 
for a "George Washington Year" in 1932. 

8. The United States George Washington Bicenten- 
nial Commission, Washington Building, Washington, 
D. C, will send literature and suggestions for local pro- 
grams to any committee, organization or group that 
will write for them. 

Mr. Bloom Promises Cooperation 

The Hon. Sol Bloom, Associate Director of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, replied to Dr. Wirth's letter, expressing gratifi- 
cation that the Americans in Germany have already be- 
gun their preparations and promising that literature 
would be supplied to the Berlin Committee from Wash- 

"We are glad to learn," said Mr. Bloom in his letter, 
"of the extensive plans which you and your assistants 
are making in this connection. It is the desire of this 
Commission that the Celebration in 1932 will be not 
only nation-wide, but world-wide." 

34 Washington Bicentennial 

The George Washington Bicentennial Committee in 
Stuttgart, Germany, has decided that the most fitting 
way to commemorate the celebration there would con- 
sist in the presentation of an initial library of American 
books to the Technical High School at Stuttgart. Ac- 
cording to Leon Dominian, American Consul General in 
Charge, it is the intention of the committee that the 
collection of American publications to be presented now 
should form the nucleus of an American section in the 
library and that this collection should be known as "The 
George Washington Memorial Section." 

It is believed that a fund of about $10,000 can be 
raised for this purpose through the generosity of Amer- 
ican residents in Stuttgart, he says, one-half of the 
amount obtained to be spent immediately on the pur- 
chase of books by American authors. The other half 
will constitute the first fund in the establishment of an 
endowment, the proceeds of which will be used to in- 
sure yearly additions of new American publications to 
the Memorial Library. 

Massachusetts to Act as Host to Visitors in 1932 

During the celebration next year of the two hun- 
dredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington, 
the tourist traffic to the State of Massachusetts will be 
considerably augmented by many thousands of people 
who will visit the Bay State, attracted by the numerous 
places of historic interest in which this commonwealth 
abounds. This statement is justified by an estimate 
made by the Division of Information and Publication 
of the United States George Washington Bicentennial 

News Releases 35 

Commission on the basis of figures submitted by promi- 
nent road authorities of the United States, which indi- 
cate that 1932 will be an outstanding year in tourist 

Massachusetts is able to boast of many places closely 
connected with the life of George Washington, and to 
these shrines thousands upon thousands of Americans 
will direct their courses next year. Lexington and Con- 
cord, where the "shot heard around the world" was 
fired; Bunker Hill, the scene of a gallant resistance by 
raw militia lines against a British regular force; Boston, 
where the Revolutionary War began in earnest with 
General Washington's siege of that place in 1775; and 
the many other historic places and incidents of note in 
Massachusetts will attract numerous visitors in 1932. 

The Bay State's opposition to the measures by which 
the British ministries attempted to curb the spirit of 
freedom in the Colonies paved the way for the Declara- 
tion of Independence and the complete severance of 
colonial relations between England and her American 
dependencies. The names of John and Samuel Adams, 
the Warrens, and John Hancock stand preeminent 
among those whose activities and leadership directed the 
colonists toward independence. It was the attitude 
taken by Massachusetts that caused Great Britain to 
look upon the Colony as a hotbed of sedition. 

George Washington first visited Massachusetts in 
1756, when he went to Boston to lay before Governor 
Shirley the troublesome question of military precedence 
raised by the action of the British Captain Dagworthy 
at Fort Cumberland. On this journey Colonel Wash- 
ington presented a gallant appearance, and the impres- 

36 Washington Bicentennial 

sion he made on his countrymen was a lasting one. As 
the Commander in Chief of Virginia's militia and as 
the young officer who had distinguished himself at Brad- 
dock's defeat, his name was already well known through- 
out the Colonies, and he was given a flattering reception 
all along the way. The trip was made in February and 
Washington remained in Boston 10 days, during which 
time he attended sessions of the Massachusetts Legisla- 
ture and various social functions. The house in which 
Shirley received him still stands. 

The next time Washington saw Boston was when he 
assumed his position as Commander in Chief of the 
Continental Army early in July, 1775. At Cambridge 
he established headquarters first in what is now Wads- 
worth House, the official residence of the presidents of 
Harvard College. In a few weeks Washington moved 
to Vassall House, known later as the Craigie House, a 
very handsome colonial mansion, which he occupied 
until his departure for New York April 4 of the fol- 
lowing year. This building was afterwards the home 
of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and still is owned by 
the Longfellow family. 

When General Howe evacuated Boston March 17, 
1776, after an occupation of nearly a year, the seat of 
operations was transferred to New York. Washington 
did not visit the State again until October, 1789, when, 
as President of the United States, he made a good-will 
tour of the New England States. 

On this good-will tour the first Massachusetts town 
which Washington visited was Springfield, where he was 
greatly interested in the arsenal. Other places which 

News Releases 37 

welcomed the President were Leicester, Worcester, Marl- 
borough, Cambridge, and Charlestown. 

President Washington reached Boston on the morning 
of October 24 and remained in the city until the 29th. 
In his diary he notes the reception with which he was 
welcomed and which revealed the great esteem in which 
he was held by the people. They had not forgotten how 
much they owed to the former commander for the relief 
he brought to Boston when he forced the British to 
evacuate. While in the city at this time he attended 
an oratorio and an "Assembly," at which, he writes, 
**There were upwards of a hundred ladies." The diary 
goes on to say of the ladies, "Their appearance was 
elegant, and many of them very handsome." His stay 
in the future Hub City was most pleasant, according to 
the record he kept. George Washington never returned 
to Massachusetts — this was the last of his three journeys 
to the Bay State. 

Massachusetts has always played an important part 
in the history of the United States, and the people of 
the Bay State may well be proud of her record during 
the Revolutionary War. Among the leaders of that 
conflict the names of her citizens occupy a prominent 
place. Now that the time has come to honor the 
memory of the great founder of this country, Massa- 
chusetts has signified her intention to participate in 
the celebration next year of George Washington's two 
hundredth birthday anniversary. 

Acting in harmony with the suggestion and invita- 
tion of Congress, Gov. Frank G. Allen has appointed 
the following State Bicentennial Commission: Dr. Albert 
Bushnell Hart, of Cambridge, chairman; Gen. Clarence 

ii Washington Bicentennial 

R. Edwards, of Westwood; Mrs. Charles Sumner Bird, of 
East Walpole; Mr. Thomas F. Ratigan, of Watertown; 
Mr. Alexander Brin, of Boston; Joseph Legare, of 
Lowell; Col. Robert E. Green, of Brookline; Gustave 
W. Everberg, of Woburn; Mrs. Stephen P. Hurd, of 
East Milton; Prof. Frank Vogel, of Jamaica Plain; 
Charles H. Hastings, of Lynn; Felix Forte, of Somer- 
ville; Francis Prescott, of Grafton ;Alphonse S. Bacho- 
rowski, of Salem; Mrs. Carl L. Schrader, of Belmont; 
Mrs. William G. D wight, of Holyoke; and Charles Fair- 
hurst, of Greenfield. Dr. Hart, chairman of the Mas; 
sachusetts Commission, is also historian of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

The Committee on Organization and Celebration, 
which is the active, everyday directing influence, is com- 
posed as follows: Col. Robert E. Green, Alexander Brin, 
Francis Prescott, and Mrs. Carl L. Schrader. This com- 
mittee is now requesting the State legislature to provide 
an adequate appropriation for the celebration. 

George de Benneville Keim Appointed 
New Jersey Chairman 

George de Benneville Keim, secretary of the National 
Republican Committee, governor general of the Gen- 
eral Society of Colonial Wars, and commissioner of the 
Port of New York Authority, has been appointed by 
Gov. Morgan F. Larson to head the New Jersey State 
Commission of 77 leading men and women for the cele- 
bration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth 
of George Washington in 1932. 

Besides Mr. Keim, other nationally known appointees 

News Releases 39 

are: Walter E. Edge, ambassador to France, Senator 
Dwight W. Morrow, Prof. Arthur Adams, Senator 
Hamilton Fish Kean, Thomas W. Lamont, Franklin W. 
Fort, John Grier Hibben, president of Princeton Uni- 
versity, Bishop Paul Matthews, Col. Franklin D'Olier, 
Bishop Wilson I. Stearly, David Baird, Jr., Bishop 
Thomas J. Walsh, Charles Lathrop Pack, Miss Mabel S. 
Douglass, A. Harry Moore, and Bishop John J. 

Mr. Keim is admirably equipped to lead the New 
Jersey Commission in its celebration exercises honoring 
George Washington next year. A member of one of 
America's oldest families, Mr. Keim has for many years 
been associated with the leading State and national civic 
and patriotic organizations. 

Besides Mr. Keim's affiliation with the General Society 
of Colonial Wars, he is also associated with the Society 
of the Cincinnati, Sons of the Revolution, Society of 
the War of 1 8 12, and the Huguenot Society of America. 

Mr. Keim is also a member of the Welcome Society, 
the National Security League, the Navy League, the 
Pan American Society of the United States, and the 
New Jersey Historical Society. 

Congressman Sol Bloom, associate director of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, when notified of Mr. Keim's appointment, said: 

"I know of no man better equipped, by birth, 
experience, and enthusiasm, to carry out the Bicenten- 
nial Celebration in the historic State of New Jersey. 

"I have known Mr. Keim personally for a long time, 
and I am looking forward with pleasure to begin work- 
ing with him in this great project. 

40 Washington Bicentennial 

"The two hundredth anniversary of the birth of 
George Washington will be celebrated throughout the 
Nation. The State of New Jersey, because of its his- 
toric heritage, must necessarily play a leading part in 
this celebration. With the appointment of Mr. Keim, 
I look for full cooperation and harmony between the 
New Jersey State George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission and the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission." 

The Twelve George Washington Programs 

Twelve elaborate programs, divided into 48 sub- 
topics, portraying the personality, character, and 
achievements of George Washington, have been com- 
pleted by the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission. 

These programs are now available to schools, colleges, 
and other educational institutions, as well as to patriotic 
societies, clubs, and organizations desiring to take part 
in the bicentennial celebration next year. They will be 
furnished upon request without charge. 

The programs are interesting and informative. Each 
of the 48 topics is complete in itself, with all of the 
papers supplementing each other. They bring out the 
sources of talents and qualities contributing to the har- 
monious union of intellectual and moral powers which 
George Washington possessed and show, step by step, 
their development. 

Speakers and writers who desire to prepare their own 
material will find these programs of great assistance as 
a basis for their presentation of the various subjects. 

News Releases 41 

Following is a list of the papers prepared on subjects 
in the program: 

1. Family Relationships of George Washington, — 
Family name of Washington — derivations and changes; 
paternal ancestry; maternal ancestry; brothers, sisters, 
nieces, and nephews; stepchildren and step-grand- 

2. Homes of George Washington. — Birthplace and 
early history of Wakefield and Mount Vernon; Wash- 
ington homestead on the Rappahannock River; Mount 
Vernon; migratory abiding places; military headquar- 
ters; presidential mansions. 

3. Youth and Manhood of George Washington. — 
The boyhood of George Washington and his rules of 
civility; travels, pursuits, and ideals (pre-Revolu- 
tionary period) ; the man himself; George Washington, 
his friends and enemies. 

4. The Mother of George Washington. — Mary Ball 
in early life; Mary Ball Washington as wife and mother; 
Mary Ball Washington in later life. 

5. George Washington, the Man of Sentiment. — 
George Washington the son; George Washington the 
country squire; George Washington the husband. 

6. George Washington, the Man of Action. — George 
Washington the surveyor; George Washington the sol- 
dier; through the French and Indian War; George 
Washington the commander in chief; George Wash- 
ington the farmer; George Washington the citizen. 

7. George Washington, the Christian. — Inherited 
religious attitude; George Washington as a Christian: 
In military experience; George Washington as a Chris- 
tian: Revealed religious conviction. 

42 Washington Bicentennial 

8. George Washington, the Leader of Men. — George 
Washington: Patron of education; George Washington, 
Leader in advancement of civilization; George Wash- 
ington, President of the United States of America; 
George Washington, a leader in philanthropy. 

9. The Social Life of George Washington. — Social 
life of childhood home; social life before the Revolu- 
tion: At Williamsburg and Mount Vernon; social life 
in later years. 

10. George Washington, the Builder of the Nation. — 
Military experience under British rule; changing views 
on British rule; creation and organization of a new 

11. George Washington, the President (1789- 
1797) . — Triumphant journey as President-elect; first 
term of the first President; the first presidential tours: 
New England, Long Island, and Rhode Island; the 
southern tour; second term of President Washington 

12. The Home Making of George and Martha Wash- 
ington. — Colonel and Mrs. Washington in residence be- 
fore the Revolution; war-time households; presidential 
households; last years at Mount Vernon. 

Aid for Teachers in Bicentennial Work 

The United States Commissioner of Education, 
Dr. Wm. John Cooper, is cooperating in a very 
practical manner with the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission. At his request, Miss 
Florence C. Fox, office specialist in elementary educa- 
tion, is preparing a pamphlet for the use of the schools 
in celebrating the anniversary of Washington's birth. 

News Releases 43 

Where to find appropriate material for the different 
phases of the work will be the problem confronting the 
teacher who attempts to arrange programs that will 
depict the life and character of Washington and at the 
same time will fit into the current work of the school. 
The Office of Education endeavors to do this by point- 
ing the way to sources of information on several topics. 

There is the reading matter that can be put directly 
into the hands of the pupils, books for the youngest 
readers from 6 to 9 years old, for the intermediate and 
upper-grade pupils from 10 to 14 years old, and for the 
high-school pupils from 15 to 18 years. Besides this 
reading material there are reference books for pupils 
with annotations, some of them about Washington and 
some about America at the time of Washington. 

Then there are the lists of songs and minuets from 
old colonial days, and the patriotic songs and marches 
used in the schools today. Several picture companies 
offer appropriate pictures, which schools may purchase, 
costing from 1 cent per copy for packets of 20 in small 
sizes, to 25 or 30 cents each in larger sizes. 

A few poems have been found and listed that may 
be used as recitations in celebration programs. Games 
and outlines for original plays and dramatizations are 
given as material for the use of teachers. One of the 
essentials in the modern school curriculum is the cor- 
related activity without which a Washington celebra- 
tion would be incomplete. Suggestions for these ac- 
tivities in graphic and plastic form and in the industrial 
arts are included. References are also added for the 
teacher's use in preparing lessons for pupils from origi- 
nal source material, which may be secured from 

44 Washington Bicentennial 

the United States George Washington Bicentennial 

Colleges Pleased With Washington Study Course 

That the teachers of America will take a most 
important part in the coming celebration of the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Wash- 
ington is indicated by the enthusiastic response with 
which they are availing themselves of the offer of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission to furnish them with an "Appreciation Course" 
on the first President. 

This study course has been prepared particularly for 
teachers and deals with the life and achievements of 
George Washington; a history of the period in which 
he lived; a study of the area selected by Washington 
as the site for the Nation's Capital; and a correlation 
of this course with the other subjects of the elementary 

In a letter sent recently to presidents of the normal 
schools and colleges of the Nation, an announcement 
of this course was made, setting forth its object, which 
is the development of an American consciousness of the 
bicentennial, a focusing of an active, nation-wide in- 
terest in the life and achievements of George Wash- 
ington and a proper interpretation and application of a 
higher conception of American citizenship. 

The responses to this letter have been most gratifying. 
They indicate a splendid spirit of cooperation and show 
the wide interest the colleges are exhibiting. Space per- 
mits extracts from only a few of the many letters of 

News Releases 45 

acceptance of the appreciation course which have been 
received from practically every State in the Union. 

The president of a teachers' college in Virginia, the 
State in which Washington was born, writes: 

"I wish to express appreciation of the offer in your 
letter. We plan to give such a course in this school in 
the semester from September, 1931, to January, 1932." 

A prominent Ohio college president replies: 

"Of course, we shall observe the George Washington 
Bicentennial this year, and to that end we shall be 
pleased to receive a copy of your George Washington 
appreciation course and any other material you may 
have for free distribution." 

The head of a Montana normal college writes: 

"We are following the suggestion of your recent 
communication and including in our required American 
history courses for 1932 the George Washington appre- 
ciation course. Our catalogue copy is now being pre- 
pared, in which this announcement will appear. We 
are offering this specialized work to all students who 
take the course during 1932." 

The Keystone State is enthusiastic and carries the 
work into the practice school as well as the teachers' 
college. The president of a prominent college of that 
State writes: 

"We shall be glad to cooperate at State Teachers' 
College for the 1932 celebration. We shall want to em- 
phasize this in the college, junior high school, depart- 
ment of the training school, and the elementary school." 

A North Dakota college president says: 

"This institution is expecting to offer the George 
Washington course in our summer quarter and also next 

46 Washington Bicentennial 

year. We shall be glad to be kept informed of every- 
thing that would interest instructors in this course. 
The announcement will appear in the annual catalogue 
of the institution when it is issued." 

Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic 
Arts, which has made a national reputation for its 
efficiency, writes: 

"You and your Commission are doing a work of the 
greatest service and effectiveness in the organization and 
promotion of this great observance. That is the only 
way to make the observance truly national in its sig- 
nificance and influence. Those of us who are directly 
concerned in the teaching and writing of our national 
history will welcome every opportunity to cooperate to 
the fullest in the splendid work of your Commission." 

A Montana college shows adaptability in arranging 
its schedule to embrace this opportunity. The presi- 
dent of this institution writes: 

"The head of our history department has made the 
brilliant suggestion that he change his early American 
history course which is offered for certificate purposes 
and is also accepted for normal school graduation, so it 
becomes really a George Washington course for this 

Educational Data on Washington 

That the schools and colleges of the United States 
are availing themselves of the 12 programs just com- 
pleted by the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission, portraying the character, per- 
sonality, and achievements of George Washington, is 
indicated by the large number of requests received by 

News Releases 47 

the Commission for these papers, which are furnished 
free of charge. 

The 12 programs are divided into 48 subtopics, each 
of them complete in itself, with all of the papers sup- 
plementing each other. They are characterized by .a 
strong educational value, as well as the merit of histori- 
cal accuracy, and should prove of unusual interest to 
all educational institutions. 

Each paper for each topic treats its subject as com- 
pletely as is possible within the average time allotted 
to a program address, thus giving to the reader or au- 
dience the benefit of more extensive and condensed data 
than is readily found in most of the books dealing with 
Washington, which usually touch upon his entire life 
rather than some particular portion of it or a special 

A particularly interesting document is that covering 
Washington's ancestral background on both sides of his 
family. Back into English records for more than 700 
years the name of Washington has been traced to its 
first appearance. Its origin, the various changes in its 
spelling, the notable Washingtons, soldiers, churchmen, 
lawyers, and landowners who have kept it within the 
annals of English history in each century, show the 
family line and traits down to the great-grandfather 
of George, who came to America in 1657 and estab- 
lished the family homestead at Bridges Creek, Va. Inti- 
mate glimpses of the happy family life of George Wash- 
ington with his brothers and sisters, nephews, nieces, and 
step-children and step-grandchildren are revealed. 

With the same care the various homes and abiding 
places of George Washington are given in their proper 

48 Washington Bicentennial 

place in his life, from Bridges Creek, his birthplace, to 
Mount Vernon, his last resting place. In these also are 
shown the limitations and exactions as well as the 
elegancies and social routine of the presidential 

Both adults and children will be thrilled with the 
stories of the boyhood, youth, and manhood of the first 
President. His playmates, pastimes, amusements, ath- 
letics, talks, school and home discipline, his rules of 
civility, his disappointment at his mother's veto on his 
going to sea, bring the reader to his first employment 
as a surveyor's assistant under Lord Fairfax's patronage. 

He is shown in his favorite role of the happy and 
contented farmer, when he introduced the newest meth- 
ods of planting, cultivating, and harvesting. He bought 
the most recently invented machinery of the time and 
experimented continually when he was at home. 

As a business man and engineer, he visualized the 
future greatness of the United States, and a section of 
the program shows in an interesting manner how he 
personally supported and assisted all enterprises that 
had for their objective the development of transporta- 
tion and communication between inland settlements and 
coastal towns for the advancement of colonization and 

Among other characteristics of Washington por- 
trayed by the programs are his attitude on religion, his 
experiences as a soldier, as a patron of education, as a 
leader in philanthropy, as President of the United 
States, and his last years at Mount Vernon. 

In addition to schools and colleges, speakers and 
writers desiring to prepare their own material will find 

News Releases 49 

these programs of great assistance as a basis for their 
presentation of the various subjects. 

Make Washington Your Ideal 

That George Washington set an example which 
present-day citizens and public officials might well 
emulate is the opinion expressed by ¥m. John Cooper, 
United States Commissioner of Education. In discuss- 
ing the coming Bicentennial Celebration, he said: 

"Judging from current events there is reason to 
believe that this country is passing through a very 
serious crisis. Since we are not at war it is not likely 
to be considered seriously by the average citizen as was 
the crisis which threatened disunion. Because we have 
had nearly a century and a half of unparalleled growth 
and have reached a position of world leadership, we are 
unlikely to compare this situation with that which 
Washington's generation faced. Nevertheless, I am con- 
fident that our people confront a major crisis, ranking 
in seriousness with those faced by the generations of 
Washington and Lincoln and fraught with the conse- 
quences perhaps no less momentous. If our country 
is to survive this economic and social storm, we must 
have some careful thinking and patriotic activity. 

"It is well, therefore, that at this juncture we pause 
to consider carefully the principles upon which this 
Nation is founded, to analyze the qualities of citizen- 
ship which are required for its preservation, and to dis- 
cover the kind of leadership which successful adminis- 
tration of our democracy demands. An immediate 
occasion for making studies of these kinds is afforded 
by the approaching two hundredth anniversary of the 

50 Washington Bicentennial 

birth of George Washington. In all of our schools and 
colleges, in our churches, through our press, effort 
should be made to enable the average citizen to recon- 
struct in his own thinking the situation which existed 
when the independence of this country was achieved. 
To do this Washington and his generation must be 
stripped of all the myth and legend which have been 
accumulated for nearly two centuries and their sterling 
human qualities allowed to appear. No one can se- 
riously doubt the value that could come to the Republic 
in this day of greatness from an imitation by its present- 
day citizens and its officials of those qualities which 
made the founders, and particularly the first President 
of this country, great. Obviously this is not possible 
if Washington is regarded as a demigod. Every leader 
in public life should aim to attain Washington's 
stature. In so doing he will increase his own stature. 
Every citizen should aim to achieve the independence 
and self-reliance of Washington's generation, otherwise 
government may become the master of a generation of 
weaklings or the "Great Father" of a race of depend- 
ents. Let us study Washington as our ideal and put 
forth every effort to realize that ideal." 

United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission Offers Material to Libraries 

Through the cooperation of the American Library 
Association with the Library Department of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
special service is tendered to libraries in making their 
selection of materials for use by organizations, schools, 
and homes in connection with the celebration in 1932 

News Releases 51 

of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 

The Bicentennial Commission is prepared to furnish 
selected material, upon request, without cost, covering 
in condensed form practically every aspect of the life 
of George Washington. This material has been com- 
piled by the staff of the commission and by special 
writers, under the supervision of Dr. Albert Bushnell 
Hart, historian of the Commission. 

Each library will be supplied with a complete set of 
material listed below for its reference room. Addi- 
tional sets, for circulation and branch libraries, will be 
supplied on request. 

Bibliography: Selected lists of books about George 
Washington, recommended by the American Library 
Association. These lists will be based upon the needs 
and scope of the small as well as the large libraries. 

Handbook: Prepared for use in the presentation of 
the George Washington Appreciation Course to be fur- 
nished to the Teachers' Colleges and Normal Schools 
of the Nation. This hand book contains the outline of 
the course covering a period of 12 weeks. Sources of 
the material for presentation are given to aid teachers 
of the United States in their participation in the nation- 
wide celebration in 1932. 

Honor to Washington: A series of 16 pamphlets, 
edited by Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, official historian, 
under the following titles: "Frontier Background of 
Washington's Career," "Washington the Man of Mind," 
"Tributes to Washington," "Washington the Farmer," 
"Washington the Business Man," "Washington as a Re- 
ligious Man," "Washington the Colonial and National 

52 Washington Bicentennial 

Statesman," "Washington and the Constitution," 
"Washington as President," "Washington the Proprietor 
of Mount Vernon," "Washington the Military Man," 
"Washington the Traveler," "Washington as Engineer 
and City Builder," "Washington's Home and Fraternal 
Life," "Race Element in Washington's Time," "Classi- 
fied Washington Bibliography." 

Juvenile Department: Programs, playlets, dances, 
games, cantatas, historical maps, costume cut-outs, and 
Braille stories. 

Pageantry and Plays: Including pageants of different 
lengths adapted to the use of large and relatively small 
groups of participants, with instructions as to scenery, 
costumes, properties, organization, and production. 
Plays for radio broadcast will be furnished on request 
to responsible organizations, groups, dramatic societies, 
and schools. The materials furnished to consist of text 
dialogues complete in details, scenes, stage direction, 
instruction, and so on. 

Portraits of George Washington for display in 
libraries and schools. 

Posters calling attention to books about George 

Programs and supplemental papers for patriotic 
societies, clubs, and other organizations, and for educa- 
tional institutions, covering 12 main topics and 48 sub- 
topics, as follows: 

"Homes of George Washington," with six subtopics. 
"Youth and Manhood of George Washington," with 
four subtopics. "The Mother of George Washington," 
with three subtopics. "George Washington the Man of 
Sentiment," with three subtopics. "George Washington 

News Releases 53 

the Man of Action in Military and Civil Life," with six 
subtopics. "George Washington the Christian," with 
three subtopics. "George Washington the Leader of 
Men," with three subtopics. "The Social Life of George 
Washington," with three subtopics. "George Washing- 
ton the Builder of the Nation," with three subtopics. 
"George Washington the President," with five subtopics. 
"The Home Making of George and Martha Washing- 
ton," with four subtopics. 

To augment the material now assembled, the Library 
Department of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission is seeking intimate bits of un- 
published history having a direct bearing upon scenes 
connected with the life and achievements of George 
Washington. Many incidents can be obtained only 
through family records and well-founded tradition, such 
incidents that have not been heralded in song or story 
but depict the courage and heroism of the men and 
women who have gone about their daily tasks in a quiet 
and matter of fact way, and have arisen, in times of 
stress, to meet unprecedented occasions. 

Just as Massachusetts had its Paul Revere, Virginia its 
Jack Jouett, and North Carolina its Mary Slocum, who 
sprang into action when occasion arose, so, too, did 
other localities have heroes and heroines whose services 
were of material aid in the carving out of a new coun- 
try, winning its independence, and organizing a well- 
ordered Government. 

Each community might well feature the ancestors of 
some of its residents in local plays or pageants, or in 
special scenes which can be embodied by the local 
dramatic committee into the texts that are being pre- 

54 Washington Bicentennial 

pared under the supervision of the pageantry depart- 
ment of the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission. 

The Commission will welcome any suggestions that 
may be offered. Responses should be addressed to the 
Library Department, United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission, Washington Building, Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Library Idea Liked 

It has been decided, he states, that there will be no 
limitation to the type of publication to be included in 
the Memorial Library and that any branch of human 
knowledge and endeavor about which American authors 
have written could be represented in the collection of 
the books thus formed. In conclusion, he writes: 

"The committee decided on this form of commemo- 
rating the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of 
George Washington after considering several proposals 
which included the sending of German young men to 
American schools and the exchange of teachers between 
the United States and Germany. All things considered, 
it was found that the erection of a library of American 
works in this city would constitute a permanent achieve- 
ment as well as insure the possibility of a wide diffusion 
of American thought and achievement among students 
in this section of Germany." 

Information is being forwarded to the Commission 
by the State Department from foreign countries in all 
parts of the world, telling of the plans of the Ameri- 
cans residing in these countries to participate in the 

News Releases 55 

celebration by local ceremonies at various times during 
the year. 

Among the countries from which news of these ac- 
tivities has been received, either through the State De- 
partment or in correspondence received directly by the 
Commission, are: Great Britain, France, Italy, Aus- 
tria, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, India, China, 
French Indo-China, Japan, and most of the countries 
of Latin America. 

Plays and Pageants for Schools 

Of all the lives of great Americans, George Wash- 
ington's diversified career affords to the schools of the 
country an unusual opportunity for portrayal in 

Because of the ever-growing tendency on the part of 
educational institutions and communities to use this 
form of drama not only for the reenactment of history 
but as a means of revelation of life itself, the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission 
has engaged a specially qualified staff to direct and to 
prepare pageants suitable for the various grades and 
different sized groups and for indoor and outdoor pro- 
duction that will depict with dramatic accuracy signifi- 
cant scenes from the life of Washington. 

The pageant, perhaps more than any other subject of 
education, calls for the coordinating and synthesizing 
of school activities working toward its production. 
Students in history, English, fine arts, domestic, practi- 
cal, and mechanical arts may all have a part, through 
their own skill and study, in the creation and in the 
expression of the allied arts inherent in the pageant. 

56 Washington Bicentennial 

There is being prepared a set of 18 one-act plays 
which will cover the whole range of George Washing- 
ton's life from boyhood to manhood; the period when 
he founded the Nation; as President, statesman, 
farmer, and engineer. They will graphically portray 
the true character of our first President, and will be 
prepared for production on the stage as well as radio. 

A comprehensive reference list of all pageants and 
plays that have already been written on the theme of 
George Washington, along with those that are planned 
to be written and published during the present year, is 
being compiled. This list, as well as pageant scenarios, 
and the plays will be completed in the autumn and sent 
upon request, without charge, to superintendents and 
teachers desiring it. 

The list will include, among other information, the 
number of episodes or acts, length of performance, the 
number of characters and groups as related to sex and 
age, scenery requirements, and other data that will prove 
of service. 

A small manual on "How to Produce a George Wash- 
ington Pageant" will also be written and distributed. 
For this purpose Miss Esther Willard Bates, professor 
of drama at Boston University, has been engaged. She 
prepared a similar manual upon the occasion of the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay Tercentenary anniversary observance last 
year and is the author of "How to Produce a Pageant," 
a book of exceptional help to any teacher interested in 
this subject. In the last edition of the "Encyclopedia 
Britannica" Miss Bates wrote the article on pageantry. 

Percy MacKaye, the playwright, and outstanding 
exponent and writer of community drama in this coun- 

News Releases 57 

try, has been engaged to write a pageant upon the 
theme of George Washington, which will lay particular 
stress upon the spiritual significance of his character and 
services. This will be ready for distribution in the 

Reliving Washington's Life in Pageantry 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission began its work of planning the celebration 
of Washington's two hundredth birthday anniversary 
in 1932 with the aim of carrying this celebration to the 
people rather than staging some one extensive central 
commemoration. In line with this aim, the Commis- 
sion early arranged the writing and publication, as well 
as the selection, of plays and pageants for groups and 
communities all over the United States. 

Nothing helps more to an understanding of the facts 
of history and the lives of great men than to see strik- 
ing incidents in their careers reenacted. Participation 
in these events intensifies interest and enthusiasm and 
makes more real and sincere the honor that is being 

In arranging these plays, playlets, and pageants the 
Bicentennial Commission has aimed to make them ac- 
curate yet simple, so that any and all members of a 
community may have a part and thus actually par- 
ticipate in the celebration. 

As study and care are needed to insure accuracy and 
completeness in these dramatizations of Washington's 
life and times, much thought has yet to be put upon 
them, but already the experts engaged by the Bicen- 
tennial Commission have received a great number of 

58 Washington Bicentennial 

requests for these plays and pageants. It is gratifying 
evidence of the nation-wide interest already awakened 
in this commemoration of George Washington. 

To keep this interest alive and growing it is the desire 
of Percy J. Burrell, the authority on pageants engaged 
by the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission to direct its Department of Pageantry, that 
all persons or groups in the United States, wherever they 
are, should notify this department of their plans, so that 
helpful material may be sent them as soon as it is ready. 
Members of various communities are writing original 
plays and pageants. This splendid initiative the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission 
wishes to encourage to the utmost. The names and 
addresses of these people are wanted at once. 

The one caution urged is that this material from the 
Bicentennial Commission be not expected before next 
autumn, as time is required in its preparation and organi- 
zation. Every care, for example, is being exercised in 
order that designs for costumes and settings shall be 
accurate to the last detail. The same attention is being 
paid to the dramatic material itself. All summer the 
artists and others in the Pageant Department will be 
engaged in this work, so that all that pertains to pre- 
senting Washington's career in pageant form may be 
complete and available in plenty of time for rehearsal 
and release during the bicentennial year. 

By autumn of 1931 all instructions regarding the 
various uniforms of the Revolutionary Army, and the 
costumes worn by the women of the time, will be ready 
in accurate plates, together with patterns for the 
making of this apparel. Nothing will be overlooked 

News Releases 59 

in assisting toward the presentation of these enactments 
of incidents and events of these former colorful days. 
Even when this pageant material has been distributed 
and placed in rehearsal, the experts of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission will be 
ready at all times to offer suggestions and advice. 

Finally, helpful material pertaining to the proper 
staging of these revivals of historic people and scenes 
will be available in such quantity that no school, church, 
society, club, community group, or other gathering de- 
siring to enter into this reverent and yet entertaining 
activity need be without the means of carrying out their 

Music Associated With Washington 

Representative specimens of popular and concert 
music which were in many ways associated with George 
Washington and his times have been collected by the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, and will at a later date be issued in booklet 
form, entitled "Music from the Days of George Wash- 

The booklet will be of material assistance to those 
arranging musical programs in connection with the bi- 
centennial celebration in 1932. It should also be un- 
usually interesting to students of eighteenth century 
music which was in vogue at that time in the thirteen 
Colonies. All students of early American musical his- 
tory will probably be impressed by the large amount of 
music written by our first composers in honor of George 
Washington. His praise was sung in countless songs. 
There were but few patriotic poems in those days which 

60 Washington Bicentennial 

did not end with the glorification of his outstanding 
personality, and the literature of musical compositions 
written in his honor is quite large. 

The first part of the collection is devoted to patriotic 
and military music of the Revolutionary and post- 
Revolutionary periods. It opens with the "President's 
March," written in honor of Washington at the time 
of his first inauguration in New York in 1789, and 
was played for the first time when he attended a per- 
formance at the John Street Theater. The march im- 
mediately struck the public fancy. In 1798 Joseph 
Hopkinson wrote an original song which was set to the 
music of the "President's March" and became immortal 
as "Hail Columbia." 

A typical specimen of early American "descriptive 
music," which will be available, is Hewitt's favorite 
historic military sonata, "The Battle of Trenton," a 
contemporary musical impression of Washington's 

Washington was a devotee of concerts and operas. 
Among the concerts which he attended was one given 
in Philadelphia on June 12, 1787, by Alexander Reinagle, 
a composer-performer who became an influential figure 
in American musical life during the years which fol- 
lowed. The first movement of one of Reinagle's un- 
published piano sonatas, taken from the composer's 
autograph in the Library of Congress, is included in this 

Among the vocal pieces the Commission has selected 
is one of the "Seven Songs for the Harpsichord of Forte 
Piano," written and composed in 1788 by Francis Hop- 
kinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Inde- 

News Releases 61 

pendence, who dedicated the songs to Washington as 
a token 01* affection and respect. In his gracious letter 
of acknowledgment, dated Mount Vernon, February 5, 
1789, Washington says in part: "I can neither sing one 
of the songs nor raise a single note on any instrument 
to convince the unbelieving. But I have, however, one 
argument which will prevail with persons of true taste 
(at least, in America) , I can tell them it is the produc- 
tion of Mr. Hopkinson." 

The above letter destroys the legend that Washington 
knew how to "raise" the tones of the flute and violin. 

Another song selected by the Commission is "The 
Way-worn Traveler," a favorite of Washington's. He 
derived great pleasure in having Nellie Custis, his 
adopted daughter, play the song for him on the fine 
harpsichord which he bought for her, and which may 
still be seen at Mount Vernon. 

A George Washington Atlas 

The plans of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission for the publication of a com- 
plete atlas of all localities associated with the travels and 
activities of George Washington were launched today 
in Philadelphia with a meeting of the regional commit- 
tee for the States between New England and the Poto- 
mac in the rooms of the Philadelphia Geographical So- 

The meeting was presided over by Dr. H. M. Lyden- 
burg, assistant director, New York Public Library, 
chairman of the regional committee, and was attended 

62 Washington Bicentennial 

by George K. Osborne, librarian of Rutgers College, 
New Brunswick, N. J.; Albert Cook Myers, Pennsyl- 
vania Historical Society, Philadelphia; George H. Ryden, 
State archivist, Newark, Del.; and Dr. Louis H. Die- 
land, executive secretary and librarian, Peabody Insti- 
tute, Baltimore. 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission was represented at the meeting by Col. 
Lawrence Martin, director of the Division of Maps, Li- 
brary of Congress, chairman of the Commission's Atlas 
Committee, and editor of the Atlas; and by Dr. Albert 
Bushnell Hart, the Bicentennial Commission's official 
historian. The National Geographic Society, which is 
to publish the map, was also represented by A. H. Bum- 
stead, its chief cartographer. 

The atlas to be compiled and issued under authority 
of the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission will be the first of its kind to present a 
complete graphic record of the movements and activi- 
ties, civil, military, and personal, of George Washington. 
As already planned in outline, the volume will be of 
great educational value and of absorbing interest. 

Of full atlas size, the book will contain 48 plates of 
maps, accompanied with a brief explanatory text, and 
with a prefatory guide to their study. Half of these 
48 plates will be reproductions of maps made by George 
Washington himself. In the words of Colonel Martin, 
the editor, they "cover fifty years of map-making on 
the part of Washington." 

During the past year, in shaping the material for this 
atlas, Colonel Martin has unearthed 20 times the num- 

News Releases 63 

ber of maps previously known to the Library of Con- 
gress as having been made by George Washington. These 
have been found in such scattered places of deposit as 
the British Colonial Office, the Huntington Library, the 
collections of the Virginia Historical Society, and in the 
ownership of private parties. 

By all odds the most interesting and historically valu- 
able of these George Washington maps is one which he 
made at the age of 1 5 years. This is a surveyor's sketch 
map, lettered in the youthful hand of the budding sur- 
veyor, "Map of Major Law. Washington's Turnip Field 
at Mount Vernon, as Surveyed by me this 27th Day 
of February, 1747/8. G. W." The form of dating, 
which seems to imply some uncertainty in the mind of 
young George, reflects his painstaking accuracy instead. 
The change in the calendar at that period obliged him, 
for the sake of exactness, to write the year in that man- 

A still more youthful map made by Washington will 
be included in the Atlas — a sketch of lands at Mount 
Vernon made in 1746, when he was 14 years old. 

Colonel Martin believes that his continued searches 
will bring to light still other maps formerly unknown, 
made by Washington himself or associated with his life 
and times. 

Another feature of new and special interest in the 
atlas will be a map of the city of Philadelphia on which 
will be marked many spots linked with Washington's 
frequent visits there that have never before been in- 

For example, all the places where Washington is 

64 Washington Bicentennial 

known to have lodged, first as a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress, then as General in Chief of the Army, 
and finally as President of the United States, will be 
shown on the map. So also will be marked the location 
of buildings or houses where he worked. Hitherto these 
have been restricted to Carpenters Hall, Independence 
Hall, and a few others. Now to these have been added 
the sites of other quarters where he conferred with other 
Revolutionary figures engaged in mapping out the fu- 
ture of the country. 

One place of outstanding historic interest to be in- 
dicated is the house where Washington talked with 
Betsy Ross on the design and making of the first Ameri- 
can flag. The site of stores visited by Washington will 
receive like attention, and one last point of particular 
interest — the spot where every day at 12 noon the 
methodical George Washington stopped to correct his 
watch from an especially reliable clock. 

At this first regional committee meeting in Philadel- 
phia Colonel Martin, editor of the atlas, outlined his 
plans for this definitive tracing of all Washington's 
places of residence, travels on business or matters of 
state, and all his military campaigns. The Representa- 
tives from this region embacing New York, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland were asked for 
their expert assistance in furnishing any rare and un- 
published material, so that the atlas may be complete 
to the last detail. 

Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, historian of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, ad- 
dressed the group on the Commission's plans and pub- 

News Releases 65 

lications, within which this atlas falls, and the relation 
of these maps to the 1932 celebration of George Wash- 
ington's two hundredth birth anniversary. As assem- 
bled and distributed by the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission, this permanent graphic 
record of Washington's birthplace and home, all the 
places of his temporary residence, the routes of all his 
travels, his battle maps, the lands he owned, and the 
land and city surveying that he performed in the course 
of a busy life, will not only lead to full understanding 
of the great man to be celebrated in 1932; it will be 
of lasting educational service to all posterity. 

Blind of America Will Celebrate Washington's 

In keeping with its purpose that no group of people, 
however small, shall be excluded from the 1932 celebra- 
tion, the United States George Washington Bicenten- 
nial Commission has established a Braille department to 
carry the fruits of its varied activities to the 100,000 
persons in the United States who must read embossed 

Miss Hazel B. Nielson and Miss Emma Perley Lincoln, 
representing the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission at the 69 th Annual National 
Education Association convention, point out that this 
department has very many plans and projects under 
way. Of special interest to educators are those designed 
to make George Washington real to the sightless chil- 
dren; quite as real as to their normal playmates. 

The series of pamphlets "Honor to George Washing- 
ton," edited by Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, will be printed 

66 Washington Bicentennial 

in Braille and distributed to the Braille Libraries and 
Schools for the Blind throughout the United States. It 
is hoped that a current issue may be published monthly 
in Braille with the beginning of the school term next 
fall, one for each classroom, bringing to the students 
news of the celebration participation of the sighted 
world and of their correlated schools; reprinting of 
Colonial musical selections; and descriptions of Colonial 
games especially adapted for their use. 

School committees will be organized to disseminate 
literature and information from the United States Com- 
mission. Bicentennial Tree Planting programs will fea- 
ture the individual Arbor Days of the several States in 
these schools for the blind. 

Pageants and plays will be made especially available 
for the students without sight and every effort is being 
made to help them participate with the sighted children 
in their planned festivities. 

Radio Programs to Play Important Part in 1932 

Elaborate plans providing for the utilization of the 
country's radio systems during the nine months' cele- 
bration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth 
of George Washington, beginning February 22 and end- 
ing on Thanksgiving Day in 1932, have practically been 
completed by the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission. 

The major radio systems have enthusiastically volun- 
teered their services, and the Commission is assured of 
regular weekly broadcasts beginning next fall, when 

News Releases 67 

the radio audiences will have an opportunity to hear 
dramatic playlets, historically authentic, depicting color- 
ful episodes in Washington's life, performed by leading 
radio actors, and supplemented with appropriate musical 

The Commission is also arranging for a series of 
patriotic lectures by famous men and women on the 
various periods of Washington's life. In this connection 
it is planned to use electrical transcriptions for the many 
individual radio stations which are not connected with 
the major chains. In this way, every section of the 
United States will be reached and residents of the re- 
motest districts will enjoy the same program listened 
to by the people in the larger communities. 

One of the features of the patriotic radio program 
is a nation-wide song service, which will be broadcast 
with great soloists of the world as leaders. A special 
program has also been arranged, which should prove of 
the greatest benefit to schools and colleges whose stu- 
dent bodies are devoting special study to the life and 
career of George Washington. 

Committee to Select Official Picture of Washington 

From the many more or less authenticated portraits 
of George Washington known to exist, and which were 
painted by contemporary artists, some of them priceless 
both for their artistic as well as historic interest, it is 
proposed by the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission, acting specifically under the 
authority of Congress, to select the one portrait which 
will have official sanction and be issued in hundreds of 
thousands of copies as a part of the observance in 1932 

68 Washington Bicentennial 

of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 

Since the responsibility of making this selection is 
necessarily within the field of the best professional au- 
thority, the Commission has invited a committee of dis- 
tinguished art critics to undertake the work of designat- 
ing the official picture and of assisting in supervising its 
reproduction in colors. At the invitation of Lieut. Col. 
U. S. Grant 3d and Hon. Sol Bloom, associate directors 
of the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, the members of this committee met in 
Washington recently for organization and to discuss 
plans of operation. Those present at the conference 
were: Hon. Charles Moore, Detroit, chairman of the 
Commission of Fine Arts; Mr. Ezra Winter, New York, 
member of the Commission of Fine Arts; Dr. John C. 
Fitzpatrick, chief of the Manuscript Division, Library 
of Congress; Dr. Leicester B. Holland, chief of the Di- 
vision of Fine Arts, Library of Congress; Col. Harrison 
H. Dodge, superintendent of Mount Vernon, and Dr. 
Albert Bushnell Hart, Cambridge, historian of the Com- 
mission. Mr. Gari Melcher, the distinguished painter 
of Falmouth, Va., member of the committee, was unable 
to attend. 

On behalf of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission, Colonel Grant explained the 
general purposes of the United States Commission and 
the request was made of the members of the committee 
to undertake the selection of the official portrait by such 
methods as the committee might determine. 

The committee was organized with Dr. Holland as 
chairman. Several suggestions were discussed relative 

News Releases 69 

to methods of procedure and it was decided that the 
various members of the committee would collect and 
identify as many examples of Washington portraiture 
as possible for the consideration of the committee at its 
next meeting, which will be held in the Fine Arts 
Division of the Library of Congress the morning of 
June 27. 

This is the first time that a national body of profes- 
sional critics has undertaken the work of choosing the 
most authentic likeness of George Washington, and the 
work will entail the examination of a great many por- 
traits, most of which, of course, are well-known. There 
are, however, other portraits in private ownership, which 
the committee is anxious to examine and an appeal has 
been made to the public generally to assist the commit- 
tee in securing an opportunity to inspect such portraits. 
It is desired that those having knowledge of authentic 
portraits of Washington, known to have been painted 
from life, get in touch with the chairman, Dr. Leicester 
B. Holland, of the Library of Congress, so that the com- 
mittee may take the necessary steps to include such pic- 
tures in its survey. 

The portrait finally selected will be used in the pub- 
lication of the books, pamphlets and posters of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission for distribution throughout the United States, 
and the stamp of approval by this committee to the 
selected portrait, will give it the highest authoritative 
endorsement and it is hoped bring to a satisfactory con- 
clusion the contention as to which is the best likeness 
of the first President, that has occupied artistic minds 
for more than a century and a half. 

70 Washington Bicentennial 

Houdon Bust Official Washington Portrait 

The Houdon bust of George Washington, at Mount 
Vernon, has been chosen by the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission as the subject for 
the official Washington portrait which it will distribute 
over the country in its plans for organizing the Nation's 
celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of Wash- 
ington's birth in 1932. 

In circulating this portrait of Washington, the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission will 
make known to Americans the work of a great French- 
man, recognized as one of the foremost portrait sculp- 
tors of all time. Thus a further contribution will be 
made toward payment of the debt which George Wash- 
ington owed to Lafayette and to the French for timely 
aid during the struggle for Independence. 

Jean Antoine Houdon lived from 1741 to 1828. Born 
the son of a domestic in the employ of a courtier, he 
rose like Moliere to be an outstanding figure of the 
eighteenth century and one of the glories of French 
culture. While Houdon is known also for imaginative 
sculpture, his fame rests chiefly on a series of 200 busts, 
a collection forming one of the monuments of world 
art. Besides his bust of Washington, he also made like- 
nesses of Benjamin Franklin, John Marshall, Rousseau, 
Moliere, and Voltaire. 

The circumstances of Houdon's selection to execute 
a likeness of Washington are themselves an interesting 
page in American history. On June 22, 1784, the year 
after the successful close of the Revolution, the legisla- 
ture of Virginia resolved "that measures be taken for 
procuring a statue of General Washington, of the finest 

News Releases 71 

marble and best workmanship." After much consulta- 
tion, in which Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin 
took an active part, Houdon, already at the height of 
his fame, was selected as incomparably the most reliable 
and proficient artist. 

Washington himself has left a record in his diaries 
of Houdon 's stay at Mount Vernon for the purpose of 
modeling this bust from close observation and measure- 
ment of Washington's features and figure. He also made 
a life-mask of Washington, for correction of the bust. 
Both mask and bust served as models for the statue of 
Washington by Houdon ordered by the State of Vir- 
ginia and later erected in Richmond. The original bust 
was presented by Houdon to Washington and has been 
seen by every visitor to Mount Vernon. 

One especially interesting circumstance accounts for 
the lift which Houdon imparted to Washington's head. 
During the artist's visit at Mount Vernon, Washington 
had occasion to decline with some indignation a shady 
bargain offered him by a horsedealer. The passing mood 
impressed Houdon as so characteristic of the man that 
he immortalized it in his bust. The result, in the opinion 
of critics, is to give the likeness striking vigor and power. 

In reporting to the Hon. Sol Bloom, associate director 
of the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, the committee of historians and artists ap- 
pointed to select this official portrait of Washington 
stated that all available likenesses of Washington had 
been studied. All had their individual merits, but the 
committee was unable to arrive at a majority vote on 
any one. 

Unanimous choice fell instead on the Houdon bust. 

72 Washington Bicentennial 

Selection of this was further determined by the fact 
that, as modeled from the living figure of Washington, 
it has every guarantee of absolute accuracy in present- 
ing Washington at the prime of his life, and because the 
bust is beyond question a great artistic masterpiece in 
every respect. Finally the bust was chosen because, by 
being photographed from several angles, it provides a 
variety of portraits, all artistic and all authentic. 

In photographic form the Houdon bust will now be 
made familiar all over the country by the United States 
George Washintgon Bicentennial Commission during 
the celebration of the birth of George Washington, be- 
ginning on February 22 and lasting until Thanksgiv- 
ing, in 1932. 

Artists to Submit Designs for Washington Quarter 

Within the next few days, Andrew W. Mellon, Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, will invite prominent artists 
throughout the country to submit designs for the new 
quarter dollar which will be issued next year as part 
of the nation-wide celebration of the two hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of George Washington. 

This will be the first United States coin of regular 
issue to bear the image of Washington. It is authorized 
by legislation enacted just before the adjournment of 

While the selection of the exact design for the George 
Washington quarter rests with the Secretary of the 
Treasury, Representative Sol Bloom, associate director 
of the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, will be consulted before the decision is 
made. Mr. Bloom has furnished the Treasury with a 

News Releases 73 

profile photograph of the bust of George Washington 
by Houdon, now at Mount Vernon, which has been se- 
lected by the Portrait Committee of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission as the best 
likeness of Washington in existence. This profile prob- 
ably will be used on the new 2 5 -cent piece. 

The portrait of the first President was used on a few 
coins made in 1783, but they were not issued or ap- 
proved by the government. Such approval might have 
been given but for Washington's modesty which no 
doubt made him feel that such honors were not for the 

Although issued to commemorate the bicentenary of 
Washington's birth, the quarter will not be a com- 
memorative coin in the true sense of the word. It will 
replace the 2 5 -cent piece which has been minted since 
1916 as a coin of a regular issue, and as such will be cir- 
culated at face value. 

The true commemorative coin is issued to signalize 
some particular event and is sold at a premium. Only 
a comparatively small number of each issue is made. 
Commemorative coins have not been used as widely in 
the United States as in some other countries. The first 
to appear in this country was the Columbian half dollar 
made in 1892 with the bust of Columbus in honor of 
the immortal discoverer of America. Incidentally, the 
only commemorative quarter ever coined in the United 
States was made the following year. It bore the image 
of Isabella, of Spain, the beneficent sovereign whose as- 
sistance made it possible for Columbus to carry out his 
cherished project. 

74 Washington Bicentennial 

The only coin of regular issue in the history of the 
United States, up to the present time, bearing the image 
of a President, is the Lincoln penny. This piece ap- 
peared in 1909 during the celebration of the centennial 
of the birth of the great Civil War President and was 
a result of popular demand. 

One of the reasons for the selection of the quarter 
dollar to carry Washington's image is the popularity 
of this coin. Also, officials of the Treasury have been 
in favor of changing the design of the 2 5 -cent piece 
now in use for other reasons as indicated by the fol- 
lowing statement by Secretary Mellon: 

"The design of the current quarter dollar has been 
the subject of considerable criticism. It wears very 
badly and is a difficult coin to manufacture; the design 
is too elaborate for the small surface, and it is almost 
impossible to bring the details into proper relief." 

The first quarters were coined in 1793, the year fol- 
lowing the act of Congress establishing the mint. Since 
that time, $161,483,091 have been produced in 2 5 -cent 
pieces. The annual issue of this coin in recent years in- 
dicates that its popularity is increasing. 

George Washington always took a keen interest in the 
mint, and he frequently visited it to supervise personally 
some of the work carried on there. Many of his mes- 
sages to Congress contain reference to the mint which 
show his solicitation for the institution. It has been 
said that Washington gave some of his private stock of 
silverware to produce half dimes because those small 
coins were in demand among the poorer people and the 
mint was unable to procure enough of the white metal 

News Releases 75 

to supply the need. The female head which appeared 
on some of these pieces was popularly supposed to rep- 
resent Martha Washington, for she presumably sat for 
the artist who created the design. 

The coining of the George Washington quarter dol- 
lar during the bicentennial year, to be continued as a 
coin of regular issue, will be a notable event in the his- 
tory of the Treasury Department. 

Design of Quarter Dollar to be Changed in Com- 
memoration of George Washington 

With the approval of the Treasury Department and 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, Representative Randolph Perkins, of New 
Jersey, chairman of the Committee on Coinage, Weights 
and Measures, today introduced in the House a bill to 
commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of George Washington by changing the design of 
the current quarter dollar so that the portrait of George 
Washington will appear on the obverse with appropri- 
ate designs on the reverse. A similar measure will be 
introduced in the Senate by Senator Fess, of Ohio, vice 
chairman of the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission. 

The purpose of the legislation is to issue the new coin 
in 1932 as a part of the Federal Government's partici- 
pation in the Bicentennial Celebration. 

The identical bills will be considered at an early day 
in the House and Senate, and are expected to be passed 
without opposition before the end of the present Con- 
gress March 4. 

76 Washington Bicentennial 

This will not be a special coin to be sold at a premium, 
but will be a regular issue to replace the current quarter 
dollar and will be placed in general circulation through- 
out the country at face value, beginning in 1932. 

Secretary of the Treasury Mellon announced the 
Treasury Department's approval of the new coin and 
explained its purpose in a letter addressed to Senator 
Fess and to Representative Sol Bloom, of New York, 
associate director of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission. In his letter Secre- 
tary Mellon says: 

"Referring to your conversation concerning the mat- 
ter of commemorating the two hundredth anniversary 
of the birth of George Washington by the issue of spe- 
cial coins, I am enclosing draft of proposed legislation 
which has the approval of the Treasury Department. 

"In the attached bill it is proposed to commemorate 
the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 
Washington by changing the design of the current quar- 
ter dollar so that the portrait of George Washington 
shall appear on the obverse with appropriate designs for 
the reverse. The new quarter dollar could be issued in 
1932 as a part of the Government's participation in the 
two hundredth anniversary celebration. Coins of the 
proposed new design would replace the current quarter 
dollar, and would be placed in general circulation 
throughout the country at face value, and not as a spe- 
cial coin to be sold at a premium. As the new coins 
would replace the present type of quarter dollar, the 
issue of the same would not be contrary to the objections 
set forth by the President in his veto message in connec- 
tion with the issue of special commemorative coins. 

News Releases 77 

"In view of the provisions of Section 3510 of the Re- 
vised Statutes (Sec. 276, Tit. 31, U. S. Code) prohibit- 
ing the making of any change in the design or die of a 
coin oftener than once in 25 years without authority 
of Congress, and since the design of the current quarter 
dollar was adopted in 1916, this legislation will be re- 
quired, and will be sufficient to enable the Treasury, 
to make the change. No appropriation will be necessary 
beyond that already provided for the Mint Service. 

"The design of the current quarter dollar has been 
the subject of considerable criticism. It wears very 
badly and is a difficult coin to manufacture; the design 
is too elaborate for the small surface, and it is almost 
impossible to bring the details into proper relief." 

Original Washington Pictures to be Exhibited 

The astonishing feat of collecting the more important 
original portraits of George Washington is being under- 
taken by the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission. 

Through the generosity of the patriotic owners of 
these paintings which are being loaned to the Commis- 
sion, this rare and valuable collection will be placed in 
the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington as a public 
exhibition, and as one of the features of the George 
Washington Bicentennial Celebration in 1932. 

Nothing like this exhibition has ever been attempted 
in the history of America, and such an assemblage of 
these pictures may never be possible again. In art in- 
terest the exhibition will vie with its historical impor- 
tance, and the thousands of persons who visit the na- 

78 Washington Bicentennial 

tional capital during the bicentennial celebration will 
have an opportunity to see them and remember a sight 
which should be prized the rest of their lives. 

More than 20 artists painted George Washington 
from life, and a number of these made numerous copies 
of their work. Thus Gilbert Stuart made about 70 
copies of his famous Athenaeum portrait, perhaps the 
most familiar of all the Washington likenesses. Besides 
the portraits themselves the exhibition will include a 
large number of miniatures of George and Martha Wash- 
ington, together with silver, jewelry and other me- 

The idea of this collection and exhibit was first sug- 
gested some months ago by Hon. Sol Bloom, associate 
director of the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission. Mrs. Rose Gouverneur Hoes 
was asked to assume the task of organization. As many 
of the most valuable of the portraits are in the posses- 
sion of private owners, the difficulty of assembling this 
exhibition is great. But Mrs. Hoes reports a willing re- 
sponse from all owners of these Washington paintings, 
both public and private. 

Members of the diplomatic corps have already volun- 
teered the loan of several little-known Washington por- 
traits. It is probable that one by Adolf Wertmuller, 
which is now hanging in the Museum of Stockholm, 
Sweden, will be added to the collection. It is hoped to 
have in the collection the Gilbert Stuart portrait owned 
by the Boston Athenaeum, and such treasures as the es- 
pecially valuable portrait owned by Senator Freling- 
huysen, of New Jersey. 

In gathering these pictures and objects of art, and 

News Releases 79 

arranging for their display, Mrs. Hoes has the assistance 
of an active committee, among whom are Mrs, McCook 
Knox, author of a work on Sharpies portraits of Wash- 
ington, Dr. Alexander Wilbourne Weddell, of Virginia 
House, Richmond, Va.; F. Lammot Belin, and George 
B. McClellan, of Washington. 

In addition to these authorities, Mrs. Hoes has the 
sponsorship of an honorary committee composed of the 
Vice President of the United States, Mrs. William 
Howard Taft, Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Secretaries Stim- 
son, Mellon and Adams, the Speaker of the House, the 
Ambassadors of Italy, Germany, Poland, Great Britain 
and Sweden. 

Others on the committee are the governor of Mary- 
land, the governor of Virginia, Maj. Gen. Douglas 
Mc Arthur, chief of staff, United States Army; Adm. 
William V. Pratt, chief of naval operations; Maj. Gen. 
Commandant B. H. Fuller, United States Marine Corps; 
Hon. C. Bascom Slemp, commissioner general, Inter- 
national Colonial and Overseas Exposition; Dr. L. S. 
Rowe, director general, Pan American Union; Dr. 
Charles G. Abbot, secretary, Smithsonian Institution; 
Dr. Alexander Wetmore, assistant secretary, Smith- 
sonian Institution; Henry W. Kent, secretary of the 
Metropolitan Museum, New York; Frederic A. Delano, 
chairman, National Capitol Park and Planning Commis- 
sion; Miss Helen C. Frick, the Frick Reference Library, 
New York; Henry Ford; Mantle Fielding, of Philadel- 
phia, Pa. ; Miss Frances Benjamin Johnston, Washington, 
D. C. ; Mr. John F. Lewis, president of the Pennsylvania 
Academy of Fine Arts; Dr. Charles Moore, chairman, 
National Fine Arts Commission; Dr. John Hill Morgan, 

80 Washington Bicentennial 

New York, N. Y.; Duncan Phillips, of the Phillips Me- 
morial Gallery, Washington, D. C. ; Potter Palmer, presi- 
dent of the Chicago Museum of Art; George A. Pope, 
president of the San Francisco Art Museum; Walter G. 
Peter, Washington, D. C., direct descendant of Martha 
Washington; Robert Wirt Washington, King George, 
Virginia, direct descendant of Augustine Washington, 
the father of George Washington. 

Washington Pictures Available to Writers 

During his lifetime George Washington escaped the 
ordeal of having to pose before innumerable cameras 
every time he stepped out of his house, but today hun- 
dreds of photographs are being made of the first Presi- 
dent. These photographs are being collected by the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission and before the beginning of the nine-months, 
nation-wide celebration of the two hundredth anniver- 
sary of the birth of George Washington on February 22, 
1932, the Commission expects to have the largest collec- 
tion of Washington pictures in existence. 

The collection at present numbers some 650 pictures 
of which the Commission has about 6,000 copies on 
hand. These pictures include portraits of Washington 
painted from life by such famous artists as Gilbert 
Stuart, Joseph Wright, John Trumbull, Adolf Wert- 
muller, Charles Willson Peale and Rembrandt Peale and 
others. There are portraits by artists from many foreign 
countries including France, England, Italy, Germany, 
Sweden and Denmark. In this collection are included 
photographs of oil paintings, pen and ink drawings, 
pastels, water colors, a portrait done in needle work, 

News Releases 81 

statuary and the famous Rembrandt Peale portrait 
painted on stone. 

Hundreds of foreign artists have at some time or other 
tried their hand on a portrait or bust of George Wash- 
ington. He has been an inspiration for artists in every 

There is the famous Nollekens bust from England, 
the original of which Associate Director Sol Bloom has 
procured for the Commission; the rare tapestry work 
of Lyons, France; statuary from South America, and 
porcelain work from China. An interesting and valu- 
able portrait of Washington done on Chinese porcelain 
is now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. 
Arrangements are being made by the Commission to 
secure a photograph of this Oriental masterpiece. 

In the Bicentennial Commission's collection there are 
pictures of Washington in almost every walk of life. 
He is shown as a young surveyor, as a farmer, as colonel 
of the Virginia militia, as a Mason, as Commander in 
Chief of the Continental Armies and as President of the 
United States. There are pictures of his wedding, of 
fox hunts, various battles in which he was engaged, his 
inaugural and many other important events in his life. 

Among the pictures are copies of many Currier and 
Ives engravings. These engravings are now very valu- 
able due to the excellence of the work done by the 
craftsmen. A very interesting lithograph of Washing- 
ton in Masonic regalia, its value as yet undetermined, 
has recently been unearthed. 

The collection also includes portraits of Washington's 
associates in the early history of this country — men like 
Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Monroe, officers of the 

82 Washington Bicentennial 

Continental Army and the heroes from foreign lands, 
such as Lafayette, Rochambeau, Von Steuben, Pulaski, 
and Kosciuszko, whose services proved so valuable to the 
Americans in the Revolution. 

New pictures are daily being added to the already 
large collection so that it is constantly growing. These 
pictures are all available to writers who wish to use them 
as illustrations for vairous articles and stories. Editors 
of magazines may secure copies, without charge, upon 
request, to illustrate articles in their publications on 
George Washington or the George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Celebration. 

This gallery of pictures, by the time it is completed 
at the end of the bicentennial celebration, will be one 
of the most valuable collections of its kind ever made. 
It will be turned over to the Federal Government to be 
preserved for future reference and used by students who 
will thus profit by the work now being done. 

Lasting Memorials to be Contributed by Government 

The United States Government has embarked upon 
a program in honor of the first President that will sur- 
pass in dignity and impressiveness similar events in the 
history of the Nation. 

Congress has decided that this celebration shall not 
be in the nature of an exposition or other centralized 
attraction. Instead of inviting the people to a physical 
memorial — a transitory gesture of homage — this cele- 
bration will be in the minds and hearts of the American 
people, in their own homes, churches, schools, fraterni- 
ties, clubs, and other appropriate groups. 

News Releases 83 

Organization of celebration activities is going for- 
ward at this time in thousands of communities. The 
celebrations will be carried out by the people themselves 
in their own way and in such manner as seems most 
appropriate to them. 

The United States Government has taken official cog- 
nizance of its own obligation and opportunities to pre- 
pare for this great event. 

It is assisting in the restoration and preservation of 
patriotic shrines and completing its great building pro- 
gram in the Nation's Capital, the city planned and 
founded by George Washington and given his name by 
a grateful people. 

It is providing other impressive memorials of a last- 
ing character to mark the two hundredth anniversary 
of George Washington's birth. After a century and 
a half of neglect, the birthplace of George Washington 
is being rebuilt as nearly as possible to its original con- 
dition, and will be opened to the public as a National 
shrine on Washington's Birthday in 1932. 

The farmhouse in which Washington was born was 
built about 1720 by Augustine Washington, father of 
George, near Pope's Creek, Westmoreland County, Va., 
on the Washington plantation known today as Wake- 
field. The house was destroyed by fire in 1780. 

It is being reproduced by the Wakefield National 
Memorial Association, aided by the United States Gov- 

Like its prototype of long ago, the house is being con- 
structed of hand-made bricks of clay taken from the 
identical field from which the original material came. 

Among the other activities of the United States Gov- 

84 Washington Bicentennial 

ernment contributing to the George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Celebration are: 

Twelve memorial postage stamps, of various denomi- 
nations, each bearing a different portrait of George 
Washington. These portraits are from authentic paint- 
ings from life by artists who became celebrated by reason 
of work in portraiture during the Colonial and Revo- 
lutionary periods. 

Recoinage of the quarter dollar in a George Wash- 
ington memorial design that will take the place of the 
present 2 5 -cent piece. The new coin will bear the pro- 
file bust of the first President. The distribution of this 
new coin, and substitution for the present quarter dol- 
lar, will begin January 1, 1932. 

Reproduction of the official portrait of George Wash- 
ington and distribution to the schools. It is the inten- 
tion of the United States George Washington Bicenten- 
nial Commission to place one of these portraits in every 
school building in the United States. 

An interesting feature of the Bicentennial Celebra- 
tion will be the issuing of a commemorative George 
Washington Medal. This design will be unusually at- 
tractive, both artistically and historically. Leading med- 
alists of the country submitted designs, which were 
judged by the foremost art and medal authorities in the 
country. One of the principal uses for the Commemo- 
rative Medal will be in the conferring of prizes for com- 
petition among school children. 

Under the auspices of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission an exhibition of 
fine arts, including sculpture, paintings, and relics per- 
taining to George Washington and his time, will be held 

News Releases 85 

in the city of Washington during the celebration period 
of 1932. The exhibit has already attracted wide atten- 
tion and promises to bring together for the first time 
memorabilia of priceless value. The exhibit will occupy 
four rooms at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. 

Restoration of Wakefield 

After a century and a half of neglect, the birthplace 
of George Washington, restored as nearly as possible to 
the conditions of two centuries ago, will be opened to 
the public as a national shrine on Washington's birthday 
next year during the world-wide celebration of the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of the First Presi- 

The original house in which Washington was born 
was built between 1718 and 1720 by Augustine Wash- 
ington, father of George, near Bridge's Creek, a small 
tributary of the Potomac River, in Westmoreland 
County, Va., on the Washington plantation known to- 
day as Wakefield. The house was destroyed by fire in 

It is being reproduced by the Wakefield National Me- 
morial Association, aided by the Federal Government 
and sponsored by the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission. 

Like its prototype of long ago, the house will be con- 
structed of hand-made bricks of clay taken from the 
identical field from which the original material came. 
Fidelity to history and tradition prescribes not only that 
the house shall be as nearly as possible an exact repro- 

86 Washington Bicentennial 

duction of the original colonial home and made of bricks 
fabricated from native clay, but that the bricks shall 
be made as nearly as possible according to the original 
process. A primitive brick-making plant has been set 
up and is being operated by negro workmen in the 
ancient way. 

After the original home was burned, the very bricks 
were carted away to be used in building neighbors' 
houses. The lands between Bridge's Creek and Pope's 
Creek, which had been occupied by the Washington 
family for four generations, were sold, with the excep- 
tion of a plot 60 feet square, on which stood the house. 
This tiny square was conveyed by the Washington fam- 
ily first to Virginia and ultimately to the Federal Gov- 

Altogether the Federal Government acquired about 
1 2 acres and erected a tall white monument on the house 
site. But the place for years was merely the unsightly 
wreck of a once attractive Virginia plantation. The 
graveyard of the Washingtons was overgrown with 
weeds and brambles. 

In addition to the restoration of the brick house in 
which George Washington was born, the site of a 
wooden house near Bridge's Creek, bought by John 
Washington in 1664, eight years after he came to Vir- 
ginia, and occupied by the Washington family, is be- 
ing excavated and will be suitably marked. The family 
graveyard will be restored with table-stones of colonial 
design properly inscribed. 

The rebuilding of the house in which Washington 
was born is an interesting story of patient research and 
unselfish devotion. The Wakefield National Memorial 

News Releases 87 

Association, of which Mrs. Harry Lee Rust, Sr.,* is presi- 
dent, has assumed a heavy responsibility. With the ex- 
ception of an appropriation of $50,000 by Congress, 
every dollar is being raised by subscription. Seventy 
acres adjoining the Government reservation have been 
bought by the association, and also the land around the 
graveyard. Congress gave permission for the moving 
of the monument in order that the house might be re- 
built on the ancient site. 

The Wakefield National Memorial Association secured 
the improvement by the Federal Government of the 
road, about a mile long, between Pope's Creek and 
Bridge's Creek. Then finding that speculators had be- 
gun to purchase for exploitation purposes strategic por- 
tions of the ancient Washington properties, the associa- 
tion interested John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in the project, 
and he purchased for public use 267 acres at a cost of 
$115,000. The brick-making plant now in operation 
is upon land purchased by Mr. Rockefeller, and the plant 
itself and the crew of workmen have been lent by him 
and transferred from Williamsburg, Va., the ancient 
capital of Virginia, which he is restoring. 

The old kitchen near the house is being rebuilt, and 
the colonial gardens between the house and the river 
are being restored. Box plants of the period have been 
procured, and plants indigenous to the region are being 

The idea underlying the whole project is to reproduce 
the conditions prevailing at the time of the birth of 
George Washington, whose father was an active and 
substantial Virginia planter of the eighteenth century. 

* Now deceased. 

88 Washington Bicentennial 

Wallpaper of Washington's Bedroom 

The bedroom which George Washington occupied 
at Mount Vernon will soon be covered with wallpaper 
identical in design with that which adorned the walls 
of the room during the lifetime of the first President, 
according to a statement issued by the Division of In- 
formation and Publication of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission. The present 
smooth, white walls of this room will present a greatly 
altered and highly attractive appearance under the 
paper which has been reproduced from scraps of the 
original wall covering recently discovered by Col. Har- 
rison H. Dodge, superintendent of Mount Vernon, 
while making repairs to the General's bedchamber. 

The walls of this famous room are now covered with 
a smooth, white plaster, which naturally was supposed 
to be the original finish. Colonel Dodge's discovery, 
however, disclosed the fact that this plaster had not 
been applied until after the wallpaper had been first 
pasted to the brown plaster underneath and then later 
removed. A few pieces adhered so stubbornly to the 
walls as to defy removal and they were covered up. It 
is supposed that this later coat of plastering was ap- 
plied by Bushrod Washington, who inherited Mount 
Vernon after the death of Martha Washington in 1802. 

When George Washington came into possession of 
Mount Vernon in 1752, upon the death of his brother 
Lawrence, the house then standing was not the great 
mansion which exists today. At that time the building 
was a two-story affair with a gable roof, four rooms 
on each floor, a small porch in front and a chimney at 
each end. In 1775 Washington commenced additions 

News Releases 89 

to the place which consisted of a large banquet hall on 
the north end and a library on the south wing with bed- 
rooms above. In the midst of these operations, Wash- 
ington was called to Philadelphia to attend the Con- 
tinental Congress. This body appointed him Com- 
mander in Chief of the American Army, and he imme- 
diately left for Boston to assume his new duties. 

It was at this time that Mrs. Washington, perhaps 
becoming impatient to occupy the new bedroom, or- 
dered it papered without waiting for the white 
finishing plaster to be applied. 

Bushrod Washington became the possessor of Mount 
Vernon in 1802, and immediately selected for his own 
use the bedroom which had been occupied by his illus- 
trious uncle. It is supposed that the original wallpaper 
may have become torn off or otherwise defaced. Either 
because of the difficulty of procuring paper to replace 
it, or because of his preference for simplicity, the new 
owner determined to remove this decoration and cover 
the walls with white plaster. The scraps which Colonel 
Dodge discovered were pieces so well applied that they 
could not be scraped off and consequently were 
plastered over. 

The feature pattern of this wallpaper was uncovered 
after some patient effort on the part of Colonel Dodge. 
The design was pieced together and photographed. 
This photograph was sent to Europe in an attempt to 
have the paper identified and, if possible, to obtain a 
reproduction of it. When these attempts proved un- 
successful, the paper was taken to some American wall- 
paper manufacturing companies for the purpose of 
having it reproduced in this country. In the office of one 

90 Washington Bicentennial 

of these firms Colonel Dodge was greatly surprised to 
find a photograph of a well-preserved wallpaper which 
was an exact duplicate of that which had been used in 
George Washington's bedroom, except for the fact that 
the pattern was reversed. 

The paper from which this photograph was made 
had been removed from the walls of a house near Port- 
land, Me., which the owner said had been papered prior 
to 1800. Experts are agreed that the wallpaper in 
Washington's room is of French manufacture, so there 
can be no doubt as to the source of that which was 
found in Maine. In all probability it came to the 
United States about the same time as the paper which 
was used at Mount Vernon. 

None of the walls at Mount Vernon are covered with 
their original decorations, although the paper in the 
main hallway is an exact replica of that which was first 
used there. This paper was reproduced a number of 
years ago from a piece of the original, which Colonel 
Dodge discovered under a panel in the wall behind the 

The colors in the paper which first decorated 
Washington's bedroom have been faithfully reproduced 
in the replica with which the walls will be covered. 
Sepia brown is the color of the paper itself, while the 
pattern is carried out in buff, blue, crimson, and vary- 
ing shades of brown. The feature design shows a mill 
at the edge of a pond which lies in the foreground. A 
tall tree rises at the side of the building and graceful 
swans are seen swimming on the placid water. In the 
background appear some mountains at the foot of 
which nestles a little church. From the horizon at the 

News Releases 91 

mountain top the roseate sunset glow of the evening 
sky blends into a deep blue at the zenith. The whole is 
framed in an ornate and complicated border of buff. 
Under this picture is a smaller pattern, consisting of a 
lyre crossed with two trumpets and circled by a border 
similar to that which encloses the feature design above. 
Colonel Dodge is elated over the discovery and the 
success which he has had in obtaining a reproduction of 
his historically interesting wallpaper. It is indeed ap- 
propriate that the room in which George Washington 
died should be restored as nearly as possible to the con- 
dition and appearance it presented while the Father of 
his Country lived, and it is especially fitting that this 
should be done in time for the celebration in 1932 of 
the two hundredth anniversary of George Washington's 

Washington's Home Town 

Patriotic ceremonies, including an address by 
Congressman James M. Beck, of Pennsylvania, on 
"Washington and the Constitution," and the presenta- 
tion of a portrait of George Washington by Hon. Sol 
Bloom, associate director of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission, will feature the 
one hundred and thirty-first anniversary of the found- 
ing of the Washington Society of Alexandria, Va., to 
be held on January 14, at the old Presbyterian Meeting 
House in that city. 

This society was founded a month after the death of 
the first President by his friends and neighbors in Alex- 
andria to perpetuate the memory of the man they loved. 
And the society has existed ever since. 

92 Washington Bicentennial 

George Washington was closely associated with the 
life and growth of the city of Alexandria. It has come 
to be known as George Washington's "home town." 
Here, a short distance from Mount Vernon, he main- 
tained a town house and office, did his trading and 
voting, and to all its citizens, high and low, he was 
affectionately known as "The General." He was made 
a trustee of the town in 1763 and served as such until 
public duties called him to a more active field. The 
citizens of Alexandria availed themselves of every op- 
portunity to honor him, a fact of which Washington 
was never unconscious, and to which he was always 

The first public celebration of his birthday to occur 
in Alexandria was featured by a formal "Birth-Night 
Ball," at which he was present. This was in February, 
1798. On the following Fourth of July he attended a 
celebration in the town, the principal spectacle of which 
was a sham battle, after which he reviewed the partici- 
pating military forces. 

Alexandria was surveyed and planned by Washington 
in 1749, and this important specimen of his early work 
is to be seen in the Library of Congress. In this city 
he also recruited his first command in 1754, and in the 
following year was made a major on Braddock's staff 
in the old Carlyle House, which is still standing. In 
1766 he was elected to the House of Burgesses from 
Fairfax, in which county both Mount Vernon and 
Alexandria are situated, and continued in this capacity 
until transferred to the Continental Congress in 1774. 
In 1766 he was elected a member of the town council, 

News Releases 93 

and a little later a member of the magisterial court of 

In 1774, in conjunction with George Mason, of 
Gunston Hall, and other leading spirits, he recruited, 
organized, and equipped several companies of local 
militia or independent commands, and acted as their 
leader until he was commissioned as Commander in 
Chief of the Continental Army. 

After the Revolution he renewed his Alexandria 
activities. He helped to organize and became a trustee 
of the Alexandria Academy, and subsequently estab- 
lished the first free school of northern Virginia as an 
adjunct of this educational institution. It may be ob- 
served that this little free school was the foster father 
of the free-school system in Virginia. It thrived until 
the establishment of the State system of free education 
in 1871. 

Washington became a director of the Bank of 
Alexandria when that institution was incorporated in 
1792, while in 1785 he helped to incorporate the Poto- 
mac Company, the forerunner of the internal system 
of waterways in America. 

One of Washington's most important and outstand- 
ing actions while in Alexandria was the calling of the 
"Little Convention" in March, 1785, which consisted 
of representatives from Maryland and Virginia. The 
ostensible purpose of this conference was to regulate the 
impost and commercial duties between Maryland and 
Virginia, but the effect was far reaching. After con- 
ferring for three days in Alexandria, the commission- 
ers moved to Mount Vernon and continued their con- 
ference until March 29, 1785. The resolutions adopted 

94 Washington Bicentennial 

by this conference led to the Annapolis Convention, 
which in turn was the forerunner to the Constitutional 
Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. 

The news of George Washington's death was known 
in Alexandria within an hour or two after it occurred. 
Two of the three physicians in attendance were from 
that town, and all day long on that fatal December 
M, 1799, and into the night, messengers had been hurry- 
ing back and forth. Washington died at 20 minutes 
past 10 o'clock on Saturday night, and the following 
Wednesday was selected as the day for interment. A 
lodge meeting was held by the Masons of Alexandria 
on Monday, December 16, at which arrangements were 
perfected for the burial of their beloved member. 

The funeral was an Alexandria demonstration, and 
was conducted with striking dignity and solemnity. 
The program as carried out was prepared by Dr. Elisha 
C. Dick, Colonels George Deneale, Charles Little, and 
Charles Simms. Mrs. Washington had left the arrange- 
ments in the hands of the Masonic lodge, making but 
one request, which was that Col. Philip Marsteller, who 
was not a Mason, be included among the pall bearers. 
Of the four clergymen who participated, three were 
from Alexandria and one from the Maryland shore op- 
posite; the six honorary pall bearers, all colonels in the 
Revolution, the various military organizations and their 
officers, the officials and members of the two Masonic 
lodges in attendance, the town officials in a body, and 
the large majority of the citizens were Alexandrians. 

If anything was needed to demonstrate the esteem 
and affection in which Washington was held by the 
people of Alexandria, it was demonstrated by the fact 

News Releases 95 

that the journey to and from Mount Vernon was made 
by most of them, citizens and military alike, on foot. 
Owing to the wintry conditions of the road, the march 
to Mount Vernon consumed so much time that the fu- 
neral was delayed several hours waiting their arrival. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that on January 14, 
1800 — exactly one month from the day of Washing- 
ton's death — there appeared in The Columbia Mirror 
and Alexandria Gazette a notice of a meeting to be held 
that evening by subscribers to the "Washington Society 
of Alexandria." 

Still bowed with grief over the death of the Nation's 
outstanding hero, Washington's friends and admirers 
formed the society to promote and perpetuate the 
memory of the man who was the leader of the American 
armies and the first President of the United States. 

Chief Justice John Marshall was a member of the 
society and was also vice president of the organization 
at one time. Francis Scott Key was also a member, and 
delivered the oration before the society on February 22, 
1814. The theme of his oration was the wisdom of 
Washington's admonition, in his Farewell Address, to 
"promote institutions for the general diffusion of 

The author of the "Star-Spangled Banner," in this 
address, said of the Washington Society: "This day is 
here celebrated by a Society formed for no low or ordi- 
nary purpose, seeking no political distinction, or emolu- 
ment, seeking nothing for itself, but aiming with a sub- 
stantial and devoted patriotism, to promote the good 
of all our country, by actual work of beneficence. A 
society which, if these words were not true of its motives 

96 Washington Bicentennial 

and views, would be put to shame by the name which 
it has assumed." 

The first officers of the organization were William 
Fitzhugh, president; E. C. Dick and R. West, vice presi- 
dents; Rev. W. Maffat, chaplain; Jonathan Swift, treas- 
urer, and George Deneale, secretary. 

Present officers are William Buckner McGroarty, 
president; Charles H. Callahan, first vice president; 
Howard W. Smith, second vice president; J. Barton 
Phillips, secretary-treasurer; Rev. William Jackson Mor- 
ton, chaplain, and John B. Gordon, chairman of the 
standing committee. 

Yorktown Sesquicentennial Forerunner of 
Washington Bicentennial 

One of the important celebrations which will 
precede the commemoration of the two hundredth 
anniversary of George Washington's birth in 1932 will 
be the Yorktown Sesquicentennial, to be observed in 
October, 1931, in honor of the one hundred and 
fiftieth anniversary of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis 
at Yorktown, Va. The sesquicentennial celebration of 
the British capitulation, which virtually ended the Revo- 
lutionary War, will be an auspicious event in its own 
right, but since the man who made the victory at York- 
town possible in 1781 is also the one whose birthday 
is being commemorated next year the two celebrations 
are closely associated. The observance of the surrender 
of Cornwallis, therefore, may be looked upon as a fore- 
runner of the 10 -month nation-wide George Washing- 
ton Bicentennial Celebration. 

News Releases 97 

When the British troops, commanded by Lord 
Cornwallis, marched out of Yorktown and laid down 
their arms after enduring a severe bombardment from 
the French and American batteries the Revolutionary 
War was, to all intents and purposes, over. The Amer- 
ican victory over Cornwallis was most decisive and, al- 
though there was some desultory fighting after the 
British capitulation, the Yorktown triumph really 
ended the war. This important event, with its far- 
reaching effects, was the result of the foresight, cour- 
age, and perseverance of George Washington, and to 
him more than any other man belongs the credit for 
the American triumph. 

Representative S. O. Bland, of Virginia, secretary of 
the United States Yorktown Sesquicentennial Commis- 
sion, said in a speech before the House of Repre- 

"The crowning event of Washington's military 
career was the victory which he won at Yorktown. . . . 
It is proper that the commemoration of Washington's 
final military achievement which established this Nation 
shall be of such proportions as to correspond with the 
celebrations which will commemorate his birth." 

For this reason the Congress of the United States 
created a national commission to prepare a plan and 
program in commemoration of the siege at Yorktown 
and the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. This commis- 
sion consists of the following members: 

From the Senate — Claude A. Swanson, of Virginia, 
chairman; David A. Reed, of Pennsylvania; Hiram 
Bingham, of Connecticut; John G. Townsend, of Dela- 
ware; and Robert F. Wagner, of New York. From the 

98 Washington Bicentennial 

House of Representatives — Charles R. Crisp, of 
Georgia, vice chairman; Robert L. Bacon, of New- 
York; Roy G. Fitzgerald, of Ohio; George R. Stobbs, 
of Massachusetts; and Joseph W. Byrns, of Tennessee. 
Representative Schuyler Otis Bland, of Virginia, is sec- 
retary of the commission. 

The program, as outlined by this commission, will 
include, in addition to other provisions to be made later, 
the marking of historical sites; the issuance of special 
commemorative postage stamps; the preparation of the 
grounds in the vicinity of Yorktown; and the invita- 
tion of all States in the Union to participate in the 

The commemorative program will be a four-day 
event to be held at Yorktown. The feature will be 
an address by the President of the United States, which 
will take place on the opening day of the exercises. 
Among those who will be present on the occasion will 
be distinguished officials of this and other governments, 
descendants of those who participated in the siege, and 
many thousands of visitors from all parts of the United 

With the Yorktown Sesquicentennial Celebration 
only a few months away, the plans for the event are 
rapidly reaching a conclusion. Like the George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Celebration, this commemoration is 
not to be in the form of an exposition. It will not cele- 
brate what Americans can do now, but what our fathers 
did to make possible the United States of the twentieth 
century. Its purposes are entirely patriotic and will 
be in keeping with the event it signalizes. 

News Releases 99 

Engineering Memorial to Washington 

The American Engineering Council has recommended 
that, as its contribution to the observance of the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Wash- 
ington, the engineering profession undertake to repair 
sufficiently to preserve the structure of the "Potowmac" 
Canal, which canal, about 1 mile in length and em- 
bracing five locks, was constructed in 1786 under the 
personal supervision of George Washington to pass 
boats around the Great Falls of the Potomac River. 
This structure is the only engineering project now in 
existence known to have been constructed by the first 

Little remains of this original engineering work, but 
the route is well defined. Old excavations are intact, 
except that there has been a great filling in of stone 
and soil, and trees and other vegetation have moved 
some of the stonework out of alignment. But enough 
remains, and enough reliable data is available, to enable 
the engineering profession to restore this great historical 
project for preservation. In the report of the War 
Department to the American Engineering Council, it 
is stated that: "As a whole, these structures are rather 
impressive, being in a wilderness and representing, prac- 
tically the first engineering work of any magnitude in 
this country. It is believed that this feature represents 
the first lock canal built in the United States." 

In order to ascertain just what will have to be done 
to restore this work to a status of preservation, the 
American Engineering Council asked Maj. Brehon 
Somervell, Corps of Engineers, district engineer, for a 
report of present conditions and the work that will be 

100 Washington Bicentennial 

required. In this report it is stated that the canal ex- 
tends from above Great Falls about 6,000 feet on the 
Virginia shore, around them, and discharges into the 
gorge below. The entrance to the canal was formed 
by a short wing dam, which acted both to divert the 
water and as a mooring for the boats descending the 
river. Below the entrance the canal was built either 
as a ditch or else secured by retaining walls to a point 
about 1,000 feet above its lower end. The upper part 
of the canal contains no striking features which were 
directly connected with the canal itself. A low masonry 
rubble wall separates the canal from the upper part of 
the falls, and served to keep the water in the canal 
during times of low flow and keep it out during times 
of high flow. There is a wasteweir or spillway to a 
few hundred yards below the entrance and below this 
wasteweir are found the sites of a mill and an iron 
foundry. The ruins of both of these structures are 
very meager and do not form an imposing monument. 
Opposite the mill is a marker commemorating the build- 
ing of the canal erected by the D. A. R. of Fairfax 
County, Va. 

From the entrance to the mill there is still some water 
in the canal. Below the mill the definition or the trace 
of the canal is very faint, at times there being practi- 
cally nothing to indicate its existence. Furthermore, 
this section of the canal runs through an amusement 
park operated by the Potomac Electric Power Com- 
pany. Below the park proper, the canal, still largely 
in cut, extends across an open pasture, which was 
formerly intended as a basin at the head of the flight 
of locks leading down to the lower level of the river. 

News Releases 101 

In this basin, where the canal is poorly defined and 
at times lost completely, there are two masonry struc- 
tures of some interest. The first, on the east side of 
the field, was evidently designed as a wasteweir. It 
consists of nothing more than two rubble walls and all 
indications of the gates which were between them have 
disappeared. It is believed also that these walls repre- 
sent what was originally intended to be the site of the 
flight of locks leading down to the river. It was found 
that the current of the river at this point was so swift 
and the turbulence so great as to make it difficult for 
boats to enter the river at this point. This location 
was therefore abandoned. The only other interesting 
feature in connection with this basin is the remains of 
what were formerly head gates leading to the flight of 
locks. No definite information as to the exact char- 
acter of this construction can be found. It was prob- 
ably used during the construction of the locks to cut 
off water from the lower part of the canal, during 
which time products were lowered down an inclined 
plane opposite the wasteweir to boats on the river below. 

The really interesting part of the canal lies below this 
set of gates. From this point to the place where the 
canal enters the river the canal is easily distinguishable. 
There were five masonry locks, the upper lock being 
100 feet by 14 feet, with a lift of 10 feet. This lock 
is covered with trees and underbrush, whose roots have 
pushed out some of the masonry and disfigured the 
structures. Below this lock is another lock 100 feet by 
11 feet, with a lift of 16 feet, similar in character to 
the one just described. Being of a greater lift, it is 
somewhat more impressive and, if anything, the 

102 Washington Bicentennial 

masonry is in a better state of preservation. Adjacent 
to this lock and on the river side of it is a flat area 
enclosed by a rubble and earth wall in which are the 
remains of gates probably used as a wasteweir. This 
wall enclosed a basin for the supply of water to the 
lower set of locks. Below the basin and second lock is 
a third lock, which is in a very bad state of repair. This 
was evidently a wider lock and capable of holding two 
of the boats in use at that time. Below this structure 
is a deep rock cut in which there was a double lock 
100 feet by 12 feet, with 12-foot and 21 -foot lifts, lead- 
ing down to the river. The cut is largely filled with 
debris, which will have to be removed, but what was 
evidently the sill between the upper and lower of these 
locks is plainly visible. 

Outline of Preliminary Project 

The general scheme is to set aside an area along the 
lower part of the canal, which would be cleared of 
underbrush and made accessible by roads and paths. 
The area selected for the reservation begins with the 
head gates at the basin just below Dickey's and follows 
the canal to the river. It is believed unwise and un- 
necessarily expensive to attempt to improve the upper 
part of the canal at this time, inasmuch as this part 
of the canal contains no striking features and as the 
improvement would require the demolition of certain 
of the buildings in the amusement park. The cost of 
this part of the land, if it could be obtained at all, 
would be unduly high. 

Access to the land will be secured by means of 
existing roads and by paths which will lead from the 

News Releases 103 

entrance to the various structures on the canal and to 
the model. It will be desirable, inasmuch as the private 
roads running from the turnpike to the canal may be 
in bad repair, to secure an easement over these roads 
and to surface them so that the public, and engineers 
in particular, will not find the approach to the property 
unworthy of engineers. Roads within the reservation 
are purposely left out of the project, as it seems desir- 
able not to permit automobile traffic on the grounds. 
In the first place, the creation of a suitable road would 
introduce an artificial feature out of harmony with the 
project, and, in the second place, no suitable facilities 
could be provided within the limited area for any exten- 
sive automobile traffic. 

It is proposed to secure a better definition of the canal 
where it is cut by excavating the debris which has 
fallen in it. At the locks the debris is to be removed, 
and the masonry is to be put in such a state of repair 
as will prevent its further deterioration. To do this 
a large percentage of it will have to be torn down and 
relaid. It is thought also that it would be desirable to 
rebuild the gates on Lock 2 to give the public a better 
idea of the operation of the locks than could be obtained 
from the small working model. 

The most suitable location for the house to shelter 
the model is in the basin above the last flight of locks. 
In preparing estimates for this house it was found that 
a model of a sufficiently good scale to prove interesting 
could not be housed in a building of the size mentioned 
in the American Engineering Council's letter. For this 
reason the size of the house has been enlarged and, in 
addition to the retiring rooms suggested, two small 

104 Washington Bicentennial 

rooms for offices have been added. This will permit a 
symmetrical design of the building. It is proposed to 
build the house of field stone with a stone floor and 
fireplaces, the roof to be of hewn timbers and covered 
with slate. The window and door frames will, of course, 
have to be hand made. The whole building will follow 
somewhat the general lines of those found along the old 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and in this part of the 
country, which were built contemporaneously with the 
canal. It is proposed to finish the interior of the stone- 
work exactly as on the outside and to whitewash both 
the interior and exterior, as was customary with the 
buildings of this type. 

The model will depict the entire canal, together with 
the surrounding topography, plant growth, rock out- 
crops, and old structures which were known to be in 
existence at the time of the construction of the canal. 
It will be equipped with gates and wickets and will have 
water supply for its actual operation. The portion of 
Great Falls adjacent to the canal will also be shown with 
running water. Using a scale of 100 the model will be 
20 feet by 60 feet, and it will be sturdily constructed, 
having sheet lead lining for water areas and cement 
molded to show topography with as much natural rock 
as necessary to represent actual conditions. Growth 
and ground effects will be appropriately shown with 
miniature trees and colorings. Where necessary to bring 
out relief and to secure proper representation of struc- 
tures, the vertical scale will be enlarged. 

The layout necessary for the memorial will contain 
several acres and this valuable model. It will, therefore, 
be necessary for a permanent caretaker to be employed 

News Releases 105 

to look after the property. For this reason a small 
house is provided for him near the entrance to the 

Bronze signs and plaques are provided at the locks 
and other major features of the works and also on the 
paths leading to the structures contained in the project. 

It is estimated that it will require about $150,000 to 
complete the restoration of this engineering work, and 
it is proposed that sum be raised within the engineering 
profession of the United States. 

Broadway Plans to Honor Washington 

New York's famous Broadway will next year stage 
a remarkable celebration in honor of one of the first 
and the greatest of all Broadwayites — George Washing- 
ton. The celebration will be as appropriate as it is 
unique. The most famous street in America had the 
honor to provide George Washington a home 142 years 
ago, when he went to New York to be the first Presi- 
dent of the United States. Now the street is to acknowl- 
edge this honor with honors in return, and on a scale 
that will be) historic. 

Broadway's celebration will be unique in many re- 
spects. In the first place, it is the first instance where 
a distinct section of a city has planned a George Wash- 
ington celebration of its own and separate from any 
commemorative activities that the municipality as a 
whole may undertake. In this respect, the initiative of 
Broadway may not remain unique very long, observes 
the Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 

106 Washington Bicentennial 

mission. Other sections of other cities will not be long 
in following Broadway's lead. 

Already President Harriss, of the Broadway Associa- 
tion, is busy selecting a special committee to coordinate 
the activities of the historical societies and civic asso- 
ciations that have signified their eagerness to participate. 
Congressman Sol Bloom, associate director of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, has 
pledged the hearty cooperation of that national body. 
Mayor Walker has been invited to lend official prestige 
and guidance to the undertaking, and the Broadway 
Association has lost no time in drawing up tentative 
plans to be submitted to its members. 

The entire week of February 22, 1932, will be set aside 
to honor the first American on this two hundredth an- 
niversary of his birth. Parades, pageants, plays and 
moving pictures, dealing with Washington's life during 
his presidential activities on Broadway will be staged. 
It is planned to open the week with a monster night 
parade, with electrically illuminated floats portraying 
Broadway life from Colonial times to the present. Fol- 
lowing this will be other events, each vying with the 
other in splendor. A mammoth pageant representing 
"All Nations" is proposed for Madison Square, partici- 
pated in by New York's 1,000,000 school children. All 
Broadway's stores will be asked to make displays ap- 
propriate for the occasion. 

Throughout the week of celebration the theaters will 
play a prominent part, with special programs and the 
revival of historical plays of Washington's time. Noth- 
ing could be more appropriate, for George Washington 
was all his life a lover and patron of the theater. And 

News Releases 107 

as Broadway is the Mecca of all America, this lead taken 
by the famous street will stimulate similar Washington 
celebrations all over the country, besides drawing to 
New York thousands of visitors eager to see how Broad- 
way honors one of its earliest residents. 

Other sections of New York City, similarly associated 
with the memory of Washington, are expected to ar- 
range suitable commemorations. And these festivities 
of the week of February 22 are to be but the beginning 
of ceremonies to be held on appropriate holidays until 
the final outpouring of gratitude to Washington on 
Thanksgiving Day. 

President Hoover Notified World's Greatest Suspen- 
sion Bridge Will Be Named for George Washington 

President Hoover, as chairman of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, was no- 
tified today by representatives of the Commission and 
of the Port of New York Authority that among the 
magnificent new memorials, which will mark the world- 
wide celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of 
the birth of George Washington during 1932, will be 
the most stupendous structure of its kind in the world — 
the great suspension bridge rapidly nearing completion 
over the Hudson River between Fort Washington, N. 
Y., and Fort Lee, N. J. The President was told that 
the Port of New York Authority has decided in favor 
of naming this giant structure the George Washington 
Memorial Bridge. 

This news was taken to the White House by Senator 
Simeon D. Fess, of Ohio, vice chairman; Representa- 
tive Sol Bloom, of New York, associate director, and 

108 Washington Bicentennial 

members of the executive committee of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
and George deBenneville Keim, representing the New 
York and New Jersey members of the Port of New 
York Authority. 

This $70,000,000 bridge, whose two towers are higher 
than the famous Washington Monument in the Na- 
tional Capital, is being constructed by the Port of New 
York Authority upon the authorization of the legisla- 
tures of New York and New Jersey and with the ap- 
proval of Congress. The legislatures of both these States 
are expected to approve the plan to make the great 
bridge a bicentennial memorial to the Commander in 
Chief of the Continental Army and first President of 
the United States. 

The name of George Washington is peculiarly appro- 
priate for this bridge. It marks the scene of one of the 
most dramatic incidents of American history — -a defense 
by a portion of General Washington's Army that is un- 
surpassed for bravery in the annals of the Revolutionary 

The question of a name for the new bridge has been 
agitated for months. It has been the topic of wide- 
spread public discussion and a great many suggestions 
have been made. The decision of the Port of New York 
Authority — a body created by compact between the 
States of New York and New Jersey with the approval 
of Congress — in favor of making this structure a me- 
morial to George Washington will, it is believed, 
receive general approval. 

This action is expected to be followed by similar 
action in other States and cities. Doubtless many other 

News Releases 109 

bridges, boulevards, and public works of various kinds, 
now under construction or projected, will be named 
in honor of the first President as a feature of the world- 
wide bicentennial celebration in the year 1932. 

The work on the new bridge over the Hudson River 
was begun in May, 1927. It is expected that the bridge 
will be opened for vehicular traffic in time for dedica- 
tion ceremonies next year. The dedication, it is ex- 
pected, will be one of the principal events in the series 
of world-wide celebrations in honor of George Wash- 
ington to be held from February 22, 1932, to Thanks- 
giving Day, 1932. 

The length of the bridge between anchorages is 4,760 
feet, or nearly 1 mile. The main span is 3,500 feet long. 
The width of the main structure over all is 120 feet 
and the height of the towers above the water is 635 
feet, or 80 feet higher than the Washington Monument 
on the Potomac River at Washington. 

Four great cables, each with a diameter of 35 inches 
and containing 26,474 wire strands, bear the weight 
of the main structure. The weight of this cable wire 
is 28,450 tons. The upper deck of the bridge will carry 
eight vehicular traffic lanes and two sidewalks. The 
lower deck will be for rapid transit lanes. 

The roadway is 250 feet above the river and the 
clearance beneath the lower deck at the center is 213 
feet. The steelwork in the towers weighs 40,200 tons, 
and the structural steelwork in the main bridge with- 
out the lower deck weighs 73,000 tons. 

The new bridge is located on a line parallel to and 
between One Hundred and Seventy-eighth and One 
Hundred and Seventy-ninth Streets in New York City. 

110 Washington Bicentennial 

It will form an important link in the highways planned 
for comprehensive development of transportation facili- 
ties at the Port of New York and provide a vital con- 
nection in the national highway routes. It will provide 
direct and expeditious access from northern New Jer- 
sey and the portions of New York State west of the 
Hudson River to New York City. It will serve traffic 
between New England and the Atlantic seaboard, af- 
fording a route that will avoid the more congested sec- 
tions of New York City. In conjunction with the 
Washington Bridge across the Harlem River and the 
proposed Triborough Bridge across the East River it 
will establish a new highway between Long Island and 
New Jersey. 

There is no spot in America more sacred to the 
memory of the gallant soldiers of the Revolution and 
to their Commander in Chief than this one. 

Fort Washington and Fort Lee were erected for the 
purpose of keeping the British warships from the upper 
reaches of the Hudson River. When General Wash- 
ington decided that Manhattan Island was no longer 
tenable, due to the large force of the enemy there under 
Lord Howe, and to the British war vessels in the river, 
he conducted his main army to the New Jersey side, 
encamping near Hackensack, but left a garrison of 
about 3,000 men to hold Fort Washington on the New 
York side. 

Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia riflemen in 
Fort Washington, under command of Colonel Magaw, 
aware that Howe was making preparations to wipe 
out the remaining American defenses on and about 
Manhattan, worked like beavers, cutting down trees, 

News Releases 111 

throwing up earthworks, and placing cannons in 
hastily built redoubts. But on the night of November 2 
Adjutant Demont, of the American garrison, deserted 
to the British, taking a plan of the fort and the dis- 
position of the American troops around it. With this 
advantage Lord Howe at once decided upon concerted 
action against the fort. 

The British infantry, artillery, and frigates in the 
river were placed in effective positions and a complete 
cordon drawn around the fort. Then Howe demanded 
that the Americans surrender. 

"The fort will be held to the end," replied the gallant 
Colonel Magaw. 

It was on the 12th of November that the British 
began to close in, with an army of more than 9,000 men, 
against less than one-third that number of Americans, 
who had to cover the fort itself and the several outlying 

Washington kept in close touch with Colonel Magaw 
and directed the defense. On one occasion Washington 
crossed to the New York side in a small rowboat, 
virtually under the guns of the enemy fleet. Generals 
Greene and Putnam also crossed and conferred with 
Colonel Magaw. 

The brave stand of the heroic garrison is one of the 
glories of American arms. Every step of the British 
advance was a hard fight. Slowly the outposts were 
driven in by superior force. At last only 600 Ameri- 
cans remained in the fort when the main attack was 
made on November 16. The rest of the little American 
army was fighting out among the surrounding hills or 
the men were out of action, wounded, or dead. 

112 Washington Bicentennial 

More than 4,000 Hessians, under General Knyp- 
hausen, charged against this little Spartan band of 600 
Americans holding the fort on the heights. Three times 
they were driven back by the American riflemen. At 
length Knyphausen rallied the Hessians and led another 
charge in person. 

Meanwhile Captain Gooch was crossing the river in 
a small boat, under shell fire from the British vessels in 
the river, bearing a message from General Washington, 
who was watching the action from Fort Lee, asking 
whether the heroic garrison could hold out until night- 
fall, when help might be sent. Dodging bullets and 
bayonets, Captain Gooch gained the fort, but it was 
too late. The fighting American riflemen had been at 
last overwhelmed by superior numbers. 

Captain Gooch leaped from the parapet, escaped to 
his waiting boat, and took the news of the surrender to 
General Washington. 

It was an American defeat, but one of the most 
glorious defeats in the history of warfare. 

D. A. R. Approves Name of "George Washington 
Memorial Bridge" for Hudson River Structure 

Expressing its special interest in the George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Celebration next year, the National 
Board of Management of the Daughters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, in session at Memorial Continental Hall 
in Washington, has gone on record in favor of giving 
the name "George Washington Memorial Bridge" to 
the new suspension bridge over the Hudson River, 
largest structure of its kind in the world, which is near- 
ing completion between Fort Washington, N. Y., 

News Releases 113 

and Fort Lee, N. J. The new bridge will be opened 
for traffic in 1932, and will probably be dedicated dur- 
ing the 10 months' celebration of the two hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of George Washington. 

The National Board of Management, which repre- 
sents the various State societies of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution, adopted a resolution this week 
requesting that the committee, which has been selected 
by the Port of New York Authority to recommend a 
name for the gigantic bridge, give "special considera- 
tion" to the name of George Washington. 

The matter was brought to the attention of the 
National Board by Mrs. C. Edward Murray, State 
regent for New Jersey, and Mrs. Frank H. Parcells, 
State regent for New York. The adoption of the reso- 
lution was moved by Mrs. Edward S. Moulton, State 
regent for Rhode Island, seconded by Mrs. Charles F. 
Bathrick, State regent for Michigan. 

The resolution is as follows: 

"Being especially interested in the Washington 
Bicentennial Celebration and in the perpetuation of the 
name of George Washington, we, the National Board 
of Management of the N. S., D. A. R., hereby respect- 
fully request the committee who are considering the 
name for the new bridge being built between New York 
and New Jersey give special consideration to the name 
George Washington Memorial Bridge, submitted by the 
New Jersey and New York Societies, N. S., D. A. R." 

A copy of the resolution will be sent to the Port of 
New York Authority, which is constructing the bridge 
by authority of the Legislatures of New York and New 
Jersey and with the approval of Congress. 

114 Washington Bicentennial 

All America to Sing "America" 

One of the most interesting and dramatic suggestions 
yet proposed in connection with the observance of the 
two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 
Washington in 1932 has been brought to the attention 
of Col. U. S. Grant 3d, associate director of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

This suggestion is based upon the belief that no more 
appropriate honor could be paid to the memory of 
George Washington than to create a great national 
chorus, united at the same moment in every school- 
house, church, theater, auditorium, and home, in sing- 
ing the national anthem "America," to the leadership 
of the United Service Orchestra, composed of the 
Marine, Navy, and Army Bands, broadcasting from 

"Think of the thrilling grandeur of such an event," 
enthusiastically declared the author of this suggestion. 
"That wonderful old song, which has inspired the people 
of this country for generations, will ring out from mil- 
lions of hearts, a reverent tribute to the memory of the 
Founder of our Republic. I have been told by experts 
that the physical problems of such an undertaking can 
be solved easily and simply. 

"In accordance with custom, on February 22, 1932, 
the President of the United States will probably deliver 
an address at a joint meeting of the Congress in the 
House of Representatives. On the annual occasions 
besides the members of Congress, there are present mem- 
bers of the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, members of 
the diplomatic corps, and other high officials of our 
Government. It is customary also for the President to 

News Releases 115 

begin his address at noon. Now, if the people of Amer- 
ica everywhere should take advantage of this greatest 
radio hook-up ever arranged, and should assemble in 
their churches, schools, auditoriums, and homes to 
listen to this historic address, what would be simpler, at 
the close of that address, than for the Nation, under 
the leadership of the great United Service Orchestra 
and the representatives of our Government, to join in 

In commenting upon this suggestion, Colonel Grant 
said: "I do not know how many people listen to these 
great radio hook-ups. I have been told that a conserva- 
tive estimate is about 50,000,000. It seems probable that 
by working up this event in advance such an audience 
could be considerably augmented, for loud speakers 
could be placed in industrial plants, in institutions of 
all kinds and, in fact, it would be in effect the greatest 
audience ever assembled upon this earth. The fact that 
it will be divided into many units would be discounted 
by the common tie of radio, which would unite all. It 
is indeed a great and inspiring conception to think of 
most of the people of our vast country joining at the 
same moment in a great hymn of praise and thanks- 
giving, which would echo from every hill, prairie, city, 
hamlet, and countryside under the flag. We can almost 
imagine the song being borne through the air and made 
audible to those beyond the range of the radio. 

"I am not prepared to say just how this suggestion 
can be carried out, if at all, but it appears to have merit 
and perhaps will be an ideal project to usher in the 
period of the nation-wide celebration in honor of the 
two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 

116 Washington Bicentennial 

Washington, which will be ' celebrated from February 
22, 1932, to Thanksgiving Day of that year." 

Society of the Cincinnati Will Honor Washington 

Among the patriotic orders planning participation 
in the nation-wide, nine-months' celebration of George 
Washington's two hundredth birthday anniversary next 
year, the Society of the Cincinnati, the oldest hereditary 
society in the United States and one which had for its 
first president, George Washington, is expected to play 
a prominent role. 

The descendants of George Washington's officers will 
rally at the celebration in 1932 for the General of their 
forefathers; and will cooperate with the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission to make 
this celebration the greatest and most far-reaching trib- 
ute ever accorded a national hero. 

The history of this organization reveals that no body 
of patriots had a more honorable or more touching rea- 
son for being. Yet when it was formed its purpose was 
completely misunderstood, and the organization was 
bitterly denounced. The eight years of the Revolution 
having come to a close, the officers of Washington's 
Army — those men who had fought, suffered and bled 
side by side — faced the prospect of bidding each other 
farewell, perhaps never to see each other again. 

In order to preserve some bond and means of com- 
munication among them, a group of representative of- 
ficers met at the historic Verplanck house near Fishkill, 
N. Y., on May 13, 1783, and adopted the following pre- 

"To perpetuate, as well the remembrance of this vast 

News Releases 117 

event as the mutual friendships which have been formed 
under the pressure of common danger, and, in many in- 
stances, cemented by the blood of the parties, the of- 
ficers of the American Army do hereby, in the most 
solemn manner, associate, constitute and combine them- 
selves into one Society of Friends, to endure as long as 
they shall endure, or any of their oldest male posterity, 
and in failure thereof the collateral branches who may 
be judged worthy of becoming supporters and mem- 

The Society chose for itself the name of Cincinnati, 
after Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, who left his plow 
to serve his country on the field of battle and then re- 
turned to his farm when the fighting was over. Most 
likely the founders of the Society recognized the simi- 
larity between the action of their Chief and that of 

At its first meeting the Society of the Cincinnati chose 
as its guiding principle, "To render permanent the cor- 
dial affection subsisting among the officers. This spirit 
will dictate brotherly kindness in all things and par- 
ticularly extend to the most substantial acts of benefi- 
cence, according to the ability of the society towards 
those officers and their families who unfortunately may 
be under the necessity of receiving it." 

Innocent and kindly as it was, this organization was 
instantly fought by Benjamin Franklin and Samuel 
Adams. Thomas Jefferson demanded that the order 
be annihilated. John Adams wrote from Paris that "the 
formation of the society was the first step taken to de- 
face the Temple of our Liberty." What is now the 
Tammany Society of New York was formed in 1789 

118 Washington Bicentennial 

for the express purpose of antagonizing the "aristocratic 
Society of the Cincinnati," which was feared as an at- 
tempt to form a nobility. 

At the second meeting of the Society in 1783, on June 
19, "His Excellency" George Washington was asked to 
become President General, and served until his death. 
Maj. Gen. Alexander Hamilton then succeeded him. 
The last survivor of the Revolution to hold the office 
was William Popham, of New York, who possessed the 
modest rank of brevet major in the Continental Line. 

The Society of the Cincinnati, with its 1,100 mem- 
bers, should assume a leading part in the coming cele- 
bration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth 
of its first president and the first President of the Na- 

War Mothers and George Washington 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, in its work of organizing the nation-wide 
celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of Wash- 
ington's birth in 1932, is to receive from the American 
war mothers cooperation at once most touching and 
fitting. No citizen needs to be reminded of the signifi- 
cance of the stars worn by these brave mothers — the 
blue star for those whose sons returned from service 
unscathed except for the searing experience of war; the 
silver star for mothers whose sons were wounded or dis- 
abled in battle; and the gold star for those whose sons 
made the supreme sacrifice and lie in heroes' graves. 

Last year Congress, at the instance of Senator David 
A. Reed, of Pennsylvania, and of Representative Sim- 
mons, of Nebraska, authorized a pilgrimage of these 

News Releases 119 

gold star mothers to the graves of their sons on the 
battle fields of Europe. This pilgrimage, conducted by 
the War Department, was open to those mothers and 
widows who had not been previously overseas at their 
own expense on this reverent errand. This year Con- 
gress, through an amendment offered by Representative 
Simmons, has authorized another pilgrimage to include 
women who have previously visited these graves at their 
own cost, as well as those whose relatives have been left 
among the 4,384 "missing" — those men who were lost 
at sea, or buried without means of identification, or 
whose graves were afterward fought over in battle and 

As part of this plan to omit none from the honors 
due to the heroic dead, the Nation, through Congress, 
has authorized the building of a chapel in each of the 
American battle-field cemeteries in Europe. On these 
chapels will be carved the name of each of these miss- 
ing men whose graves will never be found. Since the 
building of the chapels is in the care of General Persh- 
ing, this labor of love on his part means the tribute paid 
to these men by their Commander in Chief— an honor 
which should console every mother whose son may lie 
at a spot unknown, but whose name shall be known 

As last year, this pilgrimage will be conducted in 
separate parties, the first contingent sailing most appro- 
priately on the U. S. S. George Washington on May 6, 
the last one on the President Roosevelt on August 19. 
On each voyage to Europe and back these gold star 
mothers will devote one or more days to services and 
exercises in commemoration of George Washington, 

120 Washington Bicentennial 

Commander in Chief of the armies that made America 

So these mothers of this later day, who have laid this 
latest sacrifice of their loved ones on the altar of liberty, 
will link themselves in spirit with those mothers of that 
earlier time, whose sons fought loyally at Washington's 
side or gave their lives that the sacred cause he so 
heroically upheld might win to victory under his 
masterly hand. 

If it takes grief and sacrifice to bind us all in a 
common understanding, then the memory of George 
Washington could receive no finer tribute. For no one 
suffered more than Washington himself at the death and 
the suffering of his men, and no one better understood 
the sorrow of their mothers. These memorials to Wash- 
ington, as tendered by these modern mothers of sons 
who fought in France, are still more fitting as recalling 
Lafayette and the thousands of Frenchmen who came 
to Washington's aid in his hour of trial. 

These tributes to Washington by the pilgrim mothers 
will help to spread to all the corners of our land some 
knowledge of the celebration of Washington's two hun- 
dredth anniversary next year, as planned by the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 
Not only will these mothers learn for themselves of the 
coming celebration, but, being members and leaders in 
many patriotic organizations and outstanding citizens 
in their communities, their zeal may be aroused in help- 
ing to bring the entire Nation into the spirit of this 
tribute to Washington. 

The Bicentennial Commission is sending helpful and 
informative material to selected leaders in each of these 

News Releases 121 

16 pilgrim groups, who will organize these memorial 
exercises on shipboards. As mothers of soldiers, they 
will be especially interested in Washington's military 
life, and as many of them will be greeted by Lafayette's 
descendants, they will wish to recall his loyal devotion 
to Washington. 

Scouts Distribute Mount Vernon Seeds 

The Boy Scouts of America, in cooperation with the 
American Forestry Association and the United States 
Department of Agriculture, are gathering walnut seeds 
from the trees of Mount Vernon, the historic home of 
George Washington, and are distributing them through- 
out the United States for planting in the State capitals, 
parks and other suitable places. 

It is hoped that a number of these trees will be planted 
in each State in time for the great celebration in 1932 
of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 

This walnut tree planting project is most timely and 
appropriate. During his entire lifetime, George Wash- 
ington ardently loved and cared for the trees which grew 
around his home. He frequently brought seeds from 
trees in different parts of the country to plant at Mount 
Vernon. As a result of his painstaking care, his estate 
became one of the most beautiful in America. It is 
not difficult for any one who sees Mount Vernon today 
to realize why Washington was so attached to his home 
and was never happy away from it. During the weary 
years of the Revolutionary War, when his stamina, cour- 
age and sound judgment alone kept the American Army 
together, he always longed for the quiet of his estate. 

122 Washington Bicentennial 

Later, during his two terms in the Presidency which he 
had been called to fill by the unanimous voice of his 
countrymen, he frequently wrote of the happiness he 
expected to enjoy in retirement under his own "vine 
and fig tree." 

According to those in charge of the walnut tree plant- 
ing project, the black walnut has been selected from 
the many trees growing at Mount Vernon because it is 
adaptable to a greater range of territory than any other 
species in the United States. It is also among the most 
ornamental of American trees, and in addition has a 
practical market value as timber which makes it out- 
standing in tree usefulness- 

Listing Eighteenth Century Business 

What corporations, firms, partnerships, or directly 
inherited individual organizations of any kind, now do- 
ing business in the United States, can trace their his- 
tory back to George Washington's time? This is the 
interesting question now being asked in an informal 
survey of American business institutions by the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission 
and a host of cooperating agencies. So far as can be 
learned the compilation of eighteenth century business 
firms, surviving to the present day, has never before 
been attempted. The suggestion has been enthusiasti- 
cally welcomed and now the whole country is being 
combed to make such a list complete. 

Representative Sol Bloom, who, with Lieut. Col. U. S. 
Grant III, is associate director of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, has hit 
upon an idea that seems to have caught the favorable 

News Releases 123 

attention of business men everywhere. Thus it is found 
that chambers of commerce, banks, newspapers, his- 
torical societies, insurance companies, advertising clubs 
and many other organizations and individuals have 
joined in the quest. 

In discussing the subject recently, Mr. Bloom said, 
"I had no idea such interest would be aroused in this 
subject. Already scores of letters have been received, 
many of which list such business concerns. Others tell 
us where we might continue our search and we are fol- 
lowing up every clue that is given us. Many lists of 
old companies have been prepared by local chambers of 
commerce. Frequently dinners have been given in va- 
rious cities to representatives of these historic business 
establishments. There are doubtless hundreds of insti- 
tutions that are entitled to go on this unique roll of 
honor, and it is surprising to learn not only of the nu- 
merous business houses that have survived from the 
eighteenth century, but also that many of them are still 
doing business in the same locations and some of them 
in the same buildings in which they started. Undoubt- 
edly George Washington himself patronized some of 
these establishments. We know this to have been true 
of the Leadbeater Drug Corporation of Alexandria, Va., 
as well as the Alexandria Gazette of that historic city. 

"It is indeed odd to note, as I have done, that Euro- 
pean firms and other foreign business organizations take 
much pride in advertising the fact that they have been 
in business for many years. Age casts a glamor over 
such establishments and adds to their standing and 
reputation. In the United States the general rule is to 
advertise: 'This business has changed hands,' or 'This 

124 Washington Bicentennial 

business under new management,' as if such busi- 
ness restlessness were a virtue. We want to show, if we 
can, by the number of American business organizations 
that have been in existence since the eighteenth century 
that, although we were a baby Nation then of only 
about three million people, the percentage of business 
houses in continuous existence since that time will com- 
pare favorably with foreign countries. 

"Chambers of commerce and newspapers are particu- 
larly interested in this project, and when the list is com- 
pleted we expect to give it wide circulation. If any 
one knows of a business concern that has been in con- 
tinuous existence since the eighteenth century, we shall 
be more than glad to have that information. Already 
it has been suggested that there be some sort of a meet- 
ing or even organization of these old establishments, and 
that their records be preserved and examined for their 
historical value. It is impossible to tell how long this 
inquiry will continue, but it has aroused so much atten- 
tion that we expect to follow it through until all reason- 
able sources have been searched. Thus far banks, in- 
surance companies, newspapers, lodges, and drug stores 
take the lead in historical records. We feel, however, 
that we have only begun the search and there are at 
the present time literally hundreds of helpers in this in- 
teresting and important project. 

Helpful Suggestions 

Each organization and institution in the country — 
local and national — will be best able to decide upon its 
own method of appropriate participation in the series 

News Releases 125 

of events in 1932 in honor of George Washington. The 
following suggestions, which are necessarily incomplete, 
may assist those who are preparing programs and ar- 
ranging for their organization's part in the celebration: 

Adopt resolutions pledging cooperation in making the 
celebration the greatest of its kind in the history of the 

Organize committees at once to plan and carry out 
a Washington program in 1932. 

Adopt resolutions expressing your organization's faith 
in the teachings of Washington and gratitude for his 
work in founding the Nation. 

See that articles about George Washington and plans 
for the bicentennial celebration are published in local 
newspapers, magazines, and in the official publication of 
your organization. 

Display the American flag and a portrait or sculp- 
tured bust of George Washington in organization head- 
quarters and urge a similar display in every public and 
private office in your city or town in 1932. 

Present at as many meetings as possible the programs 
issued by the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission, depicting the life, character, and 
achievements of George Washington, and similar 

Have special programs on all national and local 
holidays and anniversaries and other days which can be 
connected with the life of Washington. 

Stimulate in all possible ways the educational, inform- 
ative, cooperative, and demonstrative features of the 

Promote participation of students of schools, colleges, 

126 Washington Bicentennial 

and universities in oratorical and essay contests based 
upon the life and character of George Washington. 

Conduct essay, playlet, pageant, and other contests. 

See that every library in the community adds 
standard books on the life of Washington from the 
bibliography of the American Library Association, 
which has the approval of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

Form reading and study groups of persons interested 
in the life and achievements of George Washington. 

Display conspicuously Washingtoniana, relics and art. 

Unite in a plan, in addition to all other plans for tree 
planting, to have a tree planted in the grounds of every 
school, or near by, during 1932, to be called "The 
George Washington Tree." 

Request every church to have frequent sermons 
during 1932 based upon the life, character, and services 
of George Washington. 

Plan to have an American flag and picture of Wash- 
ington displayed not only in every schoolroom but in 
every home. 

Arrange for cooperation between the bicentennial 
committees of various organizations and groups in plan- 
ning joint programs throughout the period of the 

Suggest that fraternal and other organizations, in 
which a large number of initiates may become members 
at the same time, that these "classes" be called "George 
Washington Bicentennial Classes." 

Suggest that programs for celebrations be printed in 
buff and blue, the colors of the Colonial Army, and that 
they be kept as permanent souvenirs. 

News Releases 127 

Teach Sunday-school lessons about George Wash- 
ington's religious life, his prayers for the army and 
country, his precepts and examples, and "Washington's 
Rules of Civility." 

Promote the organization of "George Washington 
Bicentennial Clubs" to participate in the celebration 
and to help arouse the citizens of the community to 
honor the memory of Washington. 

Encourage the schools to teach the life of Wash- 
ington and inspire students to engage in individual 
research. In the primary grade suggest the preparation 
of scrapbooks of George Washington clippings, illus- 
trated with pictures and original drawings. 

Have all newspapers, magazines, and other publica- 
tions of schools and colleges devote special editions to 
George Washington and the Bicentennial Celebration. 

Arrange special meetings to be attended by school 
children, teachers, and parents to honor George 

Suggest to the faculties of all educational institutions 
that they set an example to the students by adopting 
resolutions embodying references to the character and 
achievements of Washington. 

Encourage chambers of commerce, other business 
organizations, trade and labor groups, and employes of 
industrial concerns to have their own bicentennial com- 
mittees and to assist in the celebration by holding meet- 
ings, distributing literature, encouraging the display of 
flags, and Washington's pictures everywhere, printing 
a George Washington bicentennial emblem on letters, 
envelopes, and other printed matter, displaying Wash- 

128 Washington Bicentennial 

ington calendars, arranging for motion pictures, radio 
addresses, etc. 

Encourage railroads, banks, hotels, street railways, 
insurance companies, calendar publishers, industrial and 
manufacturing concerns, wholesale and retail houses, 
newspapers, magazines, trade journals, advertising 
groups, and every possible activity in your community 
to do their own part to insure the success of the world- 
wide celebration in honor of Washington. 

Pay special attention to arousing the interest of the 
children in the life of Washington and impressing them 
with the great value of the work he did for his country. 

Try in every way to arouse interest among the young 
and old in everything connected with the colonial and 
revolutionary periods of our history — music, dances, 
costumes, homes, furniture, pictures, customs, books, 

George Washington Bicentennial Celebration to Be 

The observance of the Two Hundredth Anniversary 
of the Birth of George Washington in 1932 will be 
world-wide as a result of arrangements now being com- 
pleted by the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission. 

Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson has designated 
Assistant Secretary William R. Castle, Jr., to cooperate 
with the United States George Washington Bicenten- 
nial Commission in making plans for participation by 
foreign governments in the Bicentennial celebration. 
United States Ambassadors, Ministers, and Consuls in 

News Releases 129 

other countries are assisting the hundreds of thousands 
of American citizens living abroad to arrange for their 
part in the world-wide celebration. 

Special American committees in London, Paris, and 
Berlin already have been created to prepare plans for 
the celebration and similar committees are being organ- 
ized in Poland, Italy, China, Japan, India, and many 
other countries, so that Americans in the remotest cor- 
ners of the world will be informed of the celebration. 
Plans have been completed whereby the Bicentennial 
Commission will furnish to the committees abroad as 
well as to individuals, the same service as that rendered 
to groups and individuals in the United States. 

That the people of the United States and the world 
at large are rapidly awakening to the significance of 
the celebration is indicated by the thousands of requests 
that are pouring into the offices of the Commission for 
all kinds of material relating to the celebration. 

Rapid progress is being made by the Commission in 
the preparation of one-act plays and pageant scenarios 
which will be available to interested individuals and or- 
ganizations throughout the country desiring to take 
part in the celebration. It is the plan of the Com- 
mission to make accessible to clubs, schools, colleges, 
churches, civil, fraternal, patriotic, and other organiza- 
tions, dramatic material for both indoor and outdoor 
presentations on either a large or small scale. 

The Commission is preparing 1 8 one-act plays on epi- 
sodes in the life of General Washington, which are to 
be broadcast in half -hour programs each week after 
Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1931, and continue 
for one year. These plays will also be furnished, on re- 

130 Washington Bicentennial 

quest without cost, to organizations, groups, dramatic 
societies, and schools. 

In its eagerness to have every man, woman, and child 
take part in the celebration, special arrangements have 
been made by the Commission for the blind. There has 
been established a Braille department, which has many 
projects under way to brighten the hearts of blind chil- 
dren. Character development stories from the life of 
Washington, playlets, games, and other printed matter 
is being transcribed into Braille, a system of reading for 
the blind. Bas-relief maps and various clay models are 
also being prepared and contests and programs arranged. 
Thus the spiritual rebirth of Washington will be as real 
to those who can only see with the "eye of the spirit" 
as to those whose physical eyesight is unimpaired. 

Three prominent books on the American Revolution, 
in Braille, are already available. They are "George 
Washington, the Man of Action," by Frederick Trevor 
Hill; "George Washington, the Image and the Man," by 
W. E. Woodward, and "The Four Great Americans," 
by James Baldwin. 

At this time 33 States, the District of Columbia, 
Alaska, and Hawaii, have already appointed State groups 
to cooperate with the Federal Commissions. In addi- 
tion, thousands of cities, towns and smaller communi- 
ties are naming committees for a similar purpose. [Later 
all State and territorial commissions were completed.] 

One of the outstanding contributions of the Federal 
Commission's plans, particularly from an educational 
standpoint, will be the publication of a definitive edi- 
tion of all the authentic writings of George Washing- 
ton that have been preserved, the perpetuation of his 

News Releases 131 

entire life. This work is being done under the personal 
direction of Dr. John C. Fitzpatrick, one of the most 
distinguished authorities on George Washington and his 

President Hoover has written the introduction or 
foreword for this work and the first volume is expected 
to be completed within the next few weeks. It is es- 
timated that one-fourth of the letters of Washington 
in this volume have never before been printed. 

The Women's Division of the Commission has already 
prepared 12 elaborate programs for the use of women's 
organizations and 40 papers on Washington have also 
been compiled; copies of both are now available to 
women's organizations upon request. 

An interesting project now under way is the prepara- 
tion of a series of maps, tracing the activities of George 
Washington. These will show the homes of the first 
President, the roads he traversed as a soldier and the 
places he visited during his lifetime. This enterprise has 
a double significance. It will be a valuable contribution 
to the historian and it will be a direct aid to the millions 
of people who will visit historic Washington shrines in 
New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the District of 
Columbia, Virginia, and other places where Washington 
made his appearance. 

One of the most important phases of the celebration 
will be in connection with the public schools of the na- 
tion. To facilitate a program among the schools, the 
Commission has been in contact with leading educa- 
tional authorities of the country. One of the features 
considered is a nation-wide essay contest and similar con- 
tests in oratory and graphic arts. 

132 Washington Bicentennial 

School superintendents, teachers, representatives of 
parochial and private schools, colleges, and universities 
are formulating plans whereby all educational institu- 
tions will participate in the celebration. The historical 
significance of George Washington's services to his coun- 
try and the spiritual value of his example as a citizen 
and an American have always been of special interest 
to schools and their students. 

The Commission is also assembling a library of pic- 
tures of George Washington and the people and places 
with which he was associated. This will be a valuable 
contribution to the Washingtoniana now in existence. 

Another important feature of the general program 
for the nation-wide celebration is the production of a 
great motion picture, in sound and colors, depicting the 
life and principal events in the career of Washington. 
Plans for this picture are now being worked out by the 
Eastman Films Company in collaboration with the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 

Through a special arrangement this picture will show 
scenes in the patriotic shrines of America, using material 
in Government and private museums which will make 
it unusually realistic. Through the courtesy of the 
Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, some 
of the scenes will be laid in the historic home of Wash- 
ington at Mount Vernon. This will be the first time 
that interior pictures have ever been taken at Mount 
Vernon, and is the only time that a privilege of this kind 
has ever been extended. 

No private enterprise could possibly produce such an 
authentic, elaborate and unique picture, as no amount 

News Releases 133 

of money could induce the Federal Government to per- 
mit the use of the priceless uniforms, costumes, dresses, 
furniture, and other possessions of the Washingtons for 
commercial purposes. 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission emphasizes the fact that it has at no time 
become, nor will it become in the future, affiliated 
with any commercial project. The Associate Directors 
are ready to cooperate with business firms, but at no 
time will they compromise the Commission with an of- 
ficial approval of, or responsibility for, any money- 
making enterprise. 

France and United States to Honor Memory of 
Washington at Paris Exposition 

France and the United States will join in honoring 
the memory of the patriots of both countries who helped 
to win independence for the American Colonies, and es- 
pecially in paying homage to the memory of George 
Washington during the six months of the International 
Colonial and Overseas Exposition, sponsored by the 
French Government, which will open near Paris May 
1. The American exhibit at the exposition will help to 
bring the world-wide celebration of the two hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of George Washington in 1932 
to the attention of all nations. 

To emphasize and cement the long-standing friend- 
ship of the United States and France, which began dur- 
ing the American Revolution, an exact and full-size re- 
production of Mount Vernon, home of George Wash- 
ington, is being constructed on the banks of the River 

134 Washington Bicentennial 

Seine to serve as the administration building for the 
American exhibit. 

C. Bascom Slemp, of Virginia, who is Commissioner- 
General of the United States to the French exposition, 
is also a member of the executive committee of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Commis- 
sion. He has just returned from Paris and is now busily 
engaged in arranging to have appropiate furnishings and 
other material sent from this country to be placed in 
the duplicate of Mount Vernon on the Seine, and to have 
the overseas possessions of the United States represented 
by appropriate exhibits at the exposition. 

The executive committee of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission has adopted a res- 
olution officially endorsing the reproduction of Mount 
Vernon in France. The building, in addition to being 
the headquarters of the American Commission to the 
French exposition, will be used as a museum in which 
will be placed articles connected with Washington and 
his time, loaned by the French and American Govern- 
ments and citizens of both countries. 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission is urging Americans to "join in this patri- 
otic endeavor" by contributing Washingtoniana to be 
exhibited in the Mount Vernon building. 

Among the many articles which the French govern- 
ment is lending to the United States Commission in Paris 
are an original miniature of General Washington and 
one of Martha Washington, a large topographic map 
of Yorktown painted in 1830 on the spot by order of 
Louis Philippe, a series of medals and documents per- 
taining to American-French friendship, an original bust 

News Releases 135 

of Lafayette, taken from Versailles and very little 
known, autographed documents of Rochambeau, Louis 
XVI and Marie Antoinette and numerous other articles 
of historic interest. 

The official hostess at the Mount Vernon building will 
be Miss Anne Madison Washington, a descendant of 
John Augustine Washington, nephew of George Wash- 
ington. The building will be furnished as nearly as pos- 
sible like Washington's home. Among the things which 
Mr. Slemp is taking to Paris to place in the building are 
the key to the Bastille and a copy of a picture of Louis 
XVI, both given to Washington by Lafayette; repro- 
ductions of silverware used at Mount Vernon, letters 
and portraits of famous Frenchmen and American colo- 
nists, and other articles appropriate to the time. 

Plans Are Started For Action Abroad 

In the summer of 1930, Honorable Sol Bloom, Rep- 
resentative in Congress from New York and Associate 
Director of the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission, spent six weeks in Europe ini- 
tiating the celebration abroad. 

Mr. Bloom went to London as a United States dele- 
gate to the Interparliamentary Union and later visited 
Paris. He took advantage of the opportunity afforded 
by this trip to bring to the attention of Americans re- 
siding in England, France and other European countries, 
the plans for the world-wide celebration of the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Wash- 
ington in 1932. 

He talked before leading American clubs, chambers 

136 Washington Bicentennial 

of commerce and associations, as well as with many in- 
dividual Americans about the plans for the celebration 
and laid the foundation for the organization of com- 
mittees in London and Paris to plan participation in the 
Bicentennial events. He started movements for the or- 
ganization of similar committees in Italy, Germany, 
Poland and other countries. 

In England, as in other countries, Mr. Bloom found 
that George Washington is recognized as one of the 
world's greatest men, whose memory is becoming more 
illustrious with the passing years. He was enthusiastic 
over the spontaneous appreciation of Washington in 
France, which has been manifested ever since the days 
of Lafayette and Rochambeau. 

"I feel sure that all committees abroad will cooper- 
ate," said Mr. Bloom, "so that every American living 
in Europe as well as in other countries, will participate 
in what will probably be the greatest celebration in 
honor of one man that has ever been sponsored by any 

Other Nations Will Join in Honoring Washington 

While the people of the United States of America at 
home and abroad are celebrating the two hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of George Washington next 
year, during the nine months' period from Washing- 
ton's Birthday, February 22, to Thanksgiving Day, No- 
vember 24, 1932, it seems certain that the peoples and 
governments of many other nations will join them in 
honoring the memory of Washington. 

Washington's place among the great figures of world 

News Releases 137 

history was recognized very generally while he was still 
alive. His world fame has grown steadily with the 
passing of the years. 

When the Congress of the United States authorized 
the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of 
the birth of George Washington, it recognized Wash- 
ington's world status by giving the following instruc- 
tions to the United States George Washington Bicenten- 
nial Commission: 

"If the participation of other nations in the com- 
memoration be deemed advisable, to communicate with 
the governments of such nations." 

Without waiting for official invitations from the 
Government of the United States, several governments 
have already indicated a desire to participate in the 
world-wide celebration next year. Diplomatic repre- 
sentatives of these governments in Washington have 
called at the offices of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission and conferred with the 
Honorable Sol Bloom, Associate Director, with regard to 
suitable methods of participation. 

It is too soon to state definitely what form the par- 
ticipation by various governments will take. Each gov- 
ernment will decide that for itself. From preliminary 
conferences it is learned, however, that this participa- 
tion will probably be extremely varied in character. 

As the celebration is to continue for nine months and 
is not to be an exposition and not to be concentrated in 
one place, the broadest scope is afforded not only to cit- 
izens of the United States of America, but to other na- 
tions in arranging for suitable participation. 

138 Washington Bicentennial 

Some nations may send special delegations to the City 
of Washington and to the Tomb of Washington at 
Mount Vernon. Others may present appropriate 
statues or send paintings and other works of art, or col- 
lections of rare manuscripts relating to the life and times 
of Washington. Intimations have come from several 
countries that their governments might sponsor trips of 
large groups of teachers and students to the United 
States in 1932 to visit historic places in this country and 
study its development. Tributes to the life and achieve- 
ments of Washington in addresses by foreign rulers to 
be broadcast to the entire world by radio have also been 
suggested by representatives of some nations. 

Nations whose sons fought with George Washington's 
army to win the independence of the United States are 
taking a very special interest in the plans for the cele- 
bration. But participation is not to be confined to such 
nations. George Washington has been regarded through- 
out the world as an inspiration to all lovers of liberty 
and representative government. Present indications are 
that many nations whose peoples had no part in the 
American Revolution will participate in the world-wide 

Not only have various governments indicated a de- 
sire to participate in the celebration in the United States, 
but it is evident from unofficial conferences that some 
of them are planning also to honor the memory of 
Washington by ceremonies to be held at home. That 
will be entirely in keeping with the world-wide char- 
acter of the celebration as it has been planned by the 
IJnited States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 

News Releases 139 

mission in accordance with the desire of the Congress of 
the United States. 

It is not the purpose of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission to suggest to other 
peoples either the extent or the form which their par- 
ticipation shall take. The Commission aims to acquaint 
them with the plans for the world-wide and nearly year- 
long observance by the citizens of the United States at 
home and abroad, with a cordial welcome to such par- 
ticipation by other nations as seems to them fit. 

Latin America to Pay Homage During 1932 

All the nations of Latin- America are expected to join 
the people of the United States in celebrating the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Wash- 
ington in 1932. 

Among the plans that have been suggested for par- 
ticipation by Latin-American countries is a proposal 
for a Pageant of American Heroes, in which would ap- 
pear allegorical groups of the great national heroes of 
the independence period of the Republics of America. 

A series of tableaux has also been suggested, to be pre- 
sented at one of the large theatres in Washington and in 
the capitals of other countries of the Western Hemis- 
phere. These tableaux would dramatize the lives of 
the heroes of the independence period of all the Repub- 
lics of America and would be accompanied by appro- 
priate national music of each Republic. 

In arousing interest in these features and other phases 
of Latin-American participation the Pan-American 

140 Washington Bicentennial 

Union, through Dr. L. S. Rowe, Director General, is 
cooperating with the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission. 

The Republic of Chile will wholeheartedly join 
America in rendering homage to George Washington 
during the Bicentennial celebration in 1932, Carlos 
Davila, Ambassador of Chile to the United States, has 
informed the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission. 

In speaking of South America's conception of George 
Washington, Ambassador Davila said in a recent 

"In accomplishing the independence of the United 
States, George Washington created a fulcrum which 
the nascent organization of the countries of Latin 
America would need to raise their own independence. 

"Washington foresaw the exact shape that the polit- 
ical structure of American nations would assume; he 
was aware that new forms would evolve here, and he 
had a sad presentment of the strife and turmoil that 
this process would engender. The path which the de- 
velopment of the culture in the Western Hemisphere 
has followed may be perfectly traced in his work and 
in his writings. 

"He knew how to be heroic and how to be prudent; 
great with simplicity, wise without arrogance, and the 
democratic leader of a great mass with not one conces- 
sion to vulgarity. 

"In all his life and qualities there is a moving dignity, 
a greatness which even today absorbs our spirits. And 
these traits aggrandize his figure into a solemn charya- 

News Releases 141 

tide standing on the threshhold of our history as the 
symbol of a new civilization: the guardian of American 

"Washington convinced with justice, he charmed 
with the heroic, and captivated with his concept of dig- 
nity and public welfare. 

"In his life there is a continuing and iron logic; an 
unswerving loyalty to his ideas, to his nation, and to his 
conscience. His thought was truly the matrix of his 
acts. Agitator, soldier, statesman or citizen, his method 
is the same; loyalty, perseverance, order, boldness, and 
passion, but all subordinated ever to the stern discipline 
of the intellect and Christian morals. 

"Of none was it truer than of him that 'the way of 
duty is the way to glory.' 

"When, upon accepting the presidency, he said that 
all he could offer was rectitude and firmness, Washing- 
ton sacrificed to his modesty all his other brilliant quali- 
ties, but perhaps without imagining it he defined for 
history the two fundamentals of his character. It may 
be that he sought also to indicate what he considered 
the essential requisites of the Chief Executive in his 
epoch, and for the entire system of government which 
he brought to life — a system destined to expand to 20 
other republics in this hemisphere. 

"Washington accomplished what from the very be- 
ginning he set out to do. In his existence there is noth- 
ing of those gifted personalities who arise from one or 
a series of strokes of fortune. 

"Neither can one find in him that element of tragedy 
which so often allures the historian and deceives pos- 

142 Washington Bicentennial 

terity as to the real merits of men. No; history has 
found in Washington very little of the spectacular but 
much, very much, of inward greatness. Even today one 
may lose himself in the soul of Washington, with only 
delight for the spirit. 

"The heroes of our independence acted under very 
different circumstances and conditions, but their funda- 
mental characteristics were forged in the thought and 
personality of Washington. This was a nation already 
accustomed to liberty and even to self-government long 
before obtaining its political emancipation. Our colo- 
nies were oppressed nations without liberty or political 
culture. That is why, although the trust to rebellion 
was here and there identical, the process of stabilization 
was among us slower, painful, and turbulent. 

"The noble and majestic life of Washington is today 
the perfect symbol of the nation to which he gave life. 
There is in him something of lofty spirituality which 
removes him from other great soldier-statesmen of the 
past. He dignified men instead of oppressing them. 
He served his nation and did not make his nation serve 

"He made war, but he made things greater than war; 
he gave moral and political form to a republic. 

"He would rather take injustice than do injustice. 

"Always he did what he should, and not what he 

"For this, although his glory is great, his deeds are 

"As Lord Byron so masterfully and beautifully has 
said: 'The fields where fought Leonidas and Washing- 

News Releases 143 

ton are a consecrated land that tells of nations saved 
and not of worlds destroyed.' 

"The great forerunner of South American independ- 
ence, Gen. Francisco Miranda, on December 8, 1784, 
witnessed the entrance of General Washington in this 
city of Philadelphia. 'Children, men and women/ 
Miranda said in his diary, which is one of the most nota- 
ble historical documents of the Americas, 'expressed 
such delight and satisfaction as though the Redeemer 
had entered into Jerusalem.' 'Such is,' added Miranda, 
'the sublime concept of this gifted and singular man 
which prevails in all the Continent.' 

"This concept remains in our South American coun- 
tries even in these days and seems each day to be more 
deeply rooted in the hearts of our people. 

"Washington has never been discussed among us; we 
want him to stand above the tribunal of our reason. 

"The George Washington Bicentennial Commission 
may be certain that in 1932 our peoples will join in 
rendering homage to this leader of men and founder of 

Foreign Cities Will Name Streets and Squares For 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission has been informed by the State Department 
that foreign cities in different parts of the world are 
planning to name important streets and squares in honor 
of George Washington during the celebration of the 
two hundredth anniversary of his birth in 1932. 
Definite word has been received of the gracious act by 

144 Washington Bicentennial 

which two important cities of Latvia will honor Wash- 
ington in this manner and official word of similar acts 
on the part of other foreign cities is expected soon. 

In a recent letter to the State Department, the Ameri- 
can Minister at Riga, F. W. B. Coleman, reports being 
advised by the Latvian Ministry for Foreign Affairs that 
the municipality of Riga, capital of Latvia, has resolved 
to change the name of "Hanza Square" to "Washing- 
ton Square." Further, the municipality of Jelgava, Lat- 
via, has determined to rename "Sluzu Square" to 
"Washington Square," and "Dambja Street" to "Wash- 
ington Street." 

Minister Coleman quotes the letter of the Latvian 
Foreign Minister as follows: 

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its compli- 
ments to the American Legation and has the honor to 
advise that the Council of the Municipality of Riga — 
the capital of Latvia — on the occasion of the 200th 
anniversary of the great American statesman and the 
first President of the United States, George Washing- 
ton, who is 'highly esteemed also in Latvia as a defender 
of the liberties of nations' — have resolved to name, in 
honor of George Washington, 'Hanza Square' as 'Wash- 
ington Square.' 

"Further, the Council of the Municipality of Jelgava 
(Mitsau) have resolved, on the same occasion, to name 
'Sluzu Square' as 'Washington Square,' and 'Dambja 
Iela' as 'Washington Iela.' " 

In commenting on this graceful international gesture, 
Minister Coleman observes to the State Department: 
"It is worthy of attention that when this Legation's in- 

News Releases 14 J 

quiry was made, there was neither any natural feature 
in Latvia called Washington' nor any streets or squares 
so named in Latvian cities." 

In the name of the United States, and through the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Coleman extended 
thanks to these Latvian municipalities for their exceed- 
ingly gracious act in honoring George Washington, 
"whose name is esteemed wherever the liberties of na- 
tions are cherished." 

Every good American will echo that sentiment. Thus 
the nations of the world respond in touching sincerity 
to the invitation of our Government to join the Ameri- 
can people in honoring next year a 'man recognized all 
over the world not only as the greatest of Americans 
but one of the great liberators of mankind. 

Mount Vernon Walnut Seeds Planted Abroad 

Planting of Mount Vernon black walnut seeds on 
Government-owned grounds of American embassies and 
legations throughout the world, in connection with the 
celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of George Washington, is going forward with 
enthusiasm, according to reports received by the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission 
from the State Department. 

Thomas H. Bevan, American consul general at Oslo, 
Norway, writes that, in compliance with the State De- 
partment's instruction, he has instructed the gardener 
of the legation to plant the seeds in large individual pots. 
He adds that the finest specimen of seedling resulting 

146 Washington Bicentennial 

from these plantings will be set out next year with ap- 
propriate ceremonies. 

Minister Charles C. Eberhardt, at San Jose, Costa 
Rica, writes that the Mount Vernon walnuts sent to 
him by the State Department have been planted in pots, 
and one of the young trees will be planted next year in 
honor of George Washington on the grounds of the 

Americans Residing Abroad Organize for 1932 


That the hundreds of thousands of Americans resid- 
ing abroad are planning elaborate programs to honor 
America's first President on the two hundredth an- 
niversary of his birth, is indicated by letters being re- 
ceived by the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission. 

As the opening of the nine months' period of the 
celebration draws near, it is obvious that there is hardly 
a corner of the globe in which Americans reside that 
proper homage will not be paid to George Washington. 

Literature published by the Commission, explaining 
the purpose and scope of the celebration, is being sent 
by the State Department to Ambassadors, Ministers and 
Consular officers of the United States all over the world. 
This literature is being made available to Americans 
living in the various countries, and their interest is 
thereby being aroused. 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission is constantly receiving requests for addi- 
tional information and for suggestions as to how Ameri- 

News Releases 147 

cans living abroad may join with their fellow citizens at 
home in honoring the memory of George Washington. 
These requests are being answered as rapidly as possible. 

George Washington Bicentennial Committees are be- 
ing selected by United States Ambassadors and Minis- 
ters and by American Clubs and Chambers of Com- 
merce in other countries. It will be necessary, of course, 
for these committees to plan the details of their own 
local celebrations. The United States George Washing- 
ton Bicentennial Commission in Washington, through 
the literature which it is distributing, is explaining the 
nature of the celebration in the United States in order 
that Americans abroad may parallel it as nearly as prac- 

No attempt can be made in this limited space to de- 
scribe everything that Americans are planning all over 
the world. Complete information on this subject is not 
available at this time either at the State Department or 
the offices of the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission. 

As typical of what is being planned in various coun- 
tries, however, the activity of United States Ambassa- 
dor Frederic M. Sackett and Americans in Germany may 
be cited. This will give to Americans residing in other 
countries an idea of what may be done to carry out the 
desire of Congress to make the celebration world-wide. 

Ambassador Sackett, in a recent letter to the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission in 
Washington, told how he launched the preparations for 
carrying out the celebration in Germany in his Washing- 

148 Washington Bicentennial 

ton's Birthday address before the American Club of 

"My address took the form of notifying the Ameri- 
can population of Germany," wrote Ambassador Sack- 
ett, "that the celebration would be held and that a com- 
mittee was to be organized for the purpose of directing 
and assisting the celebration not only of Berlin, but of 
various points throughout Germany where Americans 
are gathered. 

"First, a resolution general in terms was proposed to 
the Club to the effect that this organization should take 
the lead and make the carrying through of the celebra- 
tion its principal work the coming year. It approved 
the action of the Congress in undertaking the general 
celebration and declared that it would wholeheartedly 
support the movement. 

"A second resolution provided for the appointment 
of a committee, which resolution was finally adopted, 
carrying into effect the appointments as follows: 

"Honorary President, the Ambassador of the United 
States of America to Germany. 

"Honorary Vice President the Supervising Consul 
General of the United States of America at Berlin. 

"Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Frederick Wirth, 
Jr., President of the American Club of Berlin. Address: 
Lutzow Ufer 17, Berlin. 

"Arthur T. Dunning, Secretary of the American 
Chamber of Commerce of Berlin. Address: Care of 
American Chamber of Commerce, Friedrich and Leip- 
ziger Strasse, Berlin. 

"C. J. Warren, Secretary and Business Manager of the 

News Releases 149 

American Church in Berlin. Address: Care of Ameri- 
can Church, Motzstrasse 6, Berlin. 

"Mrs. Claire Schandein Schlubeck, President of the 
American Women's Club of Berlin. Address: Care of 
American Women's Club, Bellevue Strasse 5, Berlin. 

"Dr. Hans Draeger, Business Manager of the Carl 
Schurz Vereinigung. Address: Care of Carl Schurz 
Vereinigung, Schloss, Portal III, Berlin. (The Carl 
Schurz Vereinigung is prepared to take over the activi- 
ties of the General von Steuben Society and add the 
name Von Steuben' to its corporate designation.) 

"All communications for the committee should be 
addressed to Dr. Frederick Wirth, Jr., the President of 
the Club. 

"This committee was directed to report and complete 
plans for German celebrations at the meeting of the 
Club to be held on Thanksgiving Day, 1931, and to in- 
clude therein not only celebrations in the City of Ber- 
lin, but in the headquarters of each Consular District in 
Germany. It was given power to create the necessary 
subcommittees, both in Berlin and in the Consular Dis- 
trict headquarters, and to provide for the local celebra- 
tions at each of these points. 

"The committee began its work at once and is most 
enthusiastic and will take in charge any matters that 
the Washington Committee sees fit to promulgate. 

"I would suggest that the names of the committee 
above be placed upon the mailing list for literature com- 
ing forth from the Washington organization, in order 
that each member may be fully informed of what is 
going on in the premises. 

150 Washington Bicentennial 

"If there is any other matter which your organiza- 
tion desires to have acted upon, the committee is now 
formed and functioning and is ready to give its full co- 
operation and participation." 

Soon after receiving Ambassador Sackett's letter, the 
Commission received a letter from Dr. Wirth, chairman 
of the American George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mittee in Berlin. In this letter Dr. Wirth says he is 
"extremely anxious to bring about an early meeting of 
the Executive Committee here." 

"I should be very pleased if arrangements could be 
made to forward to me a good supply of pamphlets, 
literature, etc., already published and which may sub- 
sequently be published," continues Dr. Wirth. 

"It might interest you to know that the Berlin Ex- 
ecutive Committee proposes arranging for the local 
committees in the chief centers of Germany who will 
arrange plans for local celebrations in addition to those 
arranged by the Executive Committee in Berlin. Any 
information and data which you can arrange to have 
forwarded to me will be very helpful in formulating 
our plans." 

Washington's Love for His Mother 

The approach of "Mothers' Day," with all of its 
tender significance to each individual, turns the thoughts 
also to the great men of the world in history, and the 
tribute of love and honor the world owes to the mothers 
who guided their uncertain steps through childhood and 
youth and brought them to fine upstanding manhood. 

Of all the mothers of America we owe unfailing 

News Releases 151 

homage to the memory of Mary Ball Washington, the 
mother of our great national hero, for the sterling 
qualities she implanted in her son, according to the 
Division of Information and Publication of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 
Together they gave to the world a beautiful example of 
filial love and respect. While life lasted he gave his 
mother loving homage, respected her wishes, obeyed her 
commands, and did his best to gratify her requests. She 
shared his triumphs, his troubles, and his disappoint- 
ments. To the honors he gained her comment was: 
"George deserves well of his country; he was always 
a good boy." 

No more beautiful picture can be found in the 
annals of history than is presented by the Peace Ball of 
Fredericksburg, Va., which General Washington at- 
tended with his frail and aging mother on his arm, 
garbed in her rich but simple black silk gown. Al- 
though she had never participated in the brilliant social 
functions of the courts of Europe, nor even the lesser 
gayeties of the large cities of America, she received the 
salutations of the elegant French generals with a poise 
and queenly dignity. Her composure and quiet reserve 
brought forth the tribute: "If such are the matrons of 
America, well may she boast of illustrious sons." So 
deep an impression did this colonial Virginia mother 
make upon the distinguished Marquis de Lafayette that, 
before departing for his own land, he journeyed again 
to Fredericksburg to bid her farewell and seek her 

In the hour when General Washington received the 
news of his election to the Presidency of the new Nation 

152 Washington Bicentennial 

he had founded, he felt that he could not depart for 
New York to be inducted into office as its first Presi- 
dent until he had seen his mother. He traveled 60 miles 
to share his new honor with her, and to bid her farewell 
and get her blessing. He found her feeble in body and 
wracked with pain but clear minded and full of loving 
thoughts for him. This was indeed farewell, as her 
death occurred four months later, August 25, 1789, 
and at a time when her son, the President, was himself 
ill and unable to attend her funeral. She was laid to 
rest with all of the honors her towns-people could con- 
fer. Members of Congress wore the conventional 
mourning and orations and addresses sounded her virtues 
and her praise for many days. 

Her grave was long unmarked by any memorial. In 
the National Gazette, of Washington, D. C, May 13, 
1826, was published a moving tribute to her life and her 
death by George Washington Parke Custis. This 
aroused much attention and interest and a project was 
started in Virginia to erect a monument over her grave, 
but it was not until seven years later that any actual 
progress was made, and then it was through the interest 
of Silas M. Burroughs, of New York, who offered to 
erect a monument to her memory at his own personal 
expense. As a result of his interest, on May 1, 1833, 
amid most elaborate ceremonies, the corner stone was 
laid with Andrew Jackson, President of the United 
States, officiating. Members of the Cabinet, of Con- 
gress, and many distinguished citizens journeyed to 
Fredericksburg to participate. The President made an 
appropriate address as he deposited the inscribed plate 
on the stone, and at the conclusion of the services a poem 

News Releases 153 

written for the occasion was read by the author, Mrs. 
Lydia H. Sigourney. 

The base of the monument was completed and the 
stone selected for the obelisk that was to complete the 
design, when Mr. Burroughs suffered financial reverses 
and went to China to recuperate them. He died 
abroad and before he had accomplished his mission. For 
more than 50 years thereafter Mary Washington's grave 
with its unfinished and deteriorating monument was 

Then the women of Fredericksburg arose in their 
united strength of purpose and interested the women 
of the land far and wide and saved the spot where the 
mother of Washington lay from auction sale. They set 
to work to erect to her memory a monument that should 
last to the end of time, and in 1894 the little city on the 
Rappahannock was again thronged with thousands of 
people who came to do honor to the mother of Wash- 
ington in the dedication of the monument erected to her 
memory by the women of America — the first monu- 
ment by women to a woman. 

President Grover Cleveland, Vice President Adlai 
Stevenson, with the Cabinet and members of Congress, 
the governor of Virginia and his staff were part of the 
long procession which marched to the music of the 
Marine Band. 

Addresses by the President, by the mayor, the gover- 
nor, and an oration by the gifted Senator Daniel, 
with solemn Masonic ceremonies, comprised the cere- 
monies that have given to the world, the Nation, Fred- 
ericksburg, the family, and to the women of America 
the right to point with pride at the shaft 50 feet high, 

154 Washington Bicentennial 

similar to the one in the National Capital that honors 
George Washington, which in its simplicity of white 
marble expresses the simplicity, unwavering uprightness, 
and Christian purity and fortitude of "Mary, the Mother 
of Washington." 

George Washington Had to Overcome Obstacles 

as a Boy 

It is an old story that George Washington, master of 
Mount Vernon, Commander in Chief of the Revolu- 
tionary Army, and first President of the United States, 
was one of the richest men of his time. That is the 
George Washington as pictured to American school- 
boys in their history books. Most boys — and many of 
their elders — will be surprised, and perhaps inspired, 
by the reminder that as a boy George Washington was 
poor. Not only that, he had little schooling, and very 
early had to buckle down and prepare to earn his own 

His father, Augustine Washington, was a fairly rich 
man, as men were rated in those days; that is, he 
owned many acres of good Virginia land, but like nearly 
all others of his kind, he was "property poor." In line 
with the custom of the time, Augustine Washington, at 
his death, left the bulk of his property to his eldest son. 
Thus the estate passed into the hands of George's half- 
brother, Lawrence, 14 years his senior. 

George himself, a devoted son, willingly accepted 
for the best whatever his father had devised. His half- 
brother Lawrence came into possession of the now 
famous estate on the Potomac known as Mount Vernon. 
His other half-brother, Augustine, inherited "Wake- 

News Releases 155 

field," the place where George himself was born. To 
George was left the farm at Fredericksburg, but sub- 
ject to his mother's control as long as he remained a 
minor. The Widow Washington had also some property 
of her own in the neighborhood, but she had little 
money. George was but 11 years old when his father 
died. There were five other children. And working 
the farm meant hard work and close management for 
Mary Ball Washington. 

Fortunately for herself and for George, she was a 
shrewd and able woman. Much of George's great char- 
acter is thought to have come to him from his mother. 
She early taught him to bear responsibility, and from 
the beginning he faced the world with the idea of 
earning his own living, if not the living of the family. 

But, just as fortunately, George's brothers were also 
men of unusual character. The younger of them, Au- 
gustine, took George to live for a while at "Wakefield," 
where tradition has it that George got some schooling 
of a business nature to fit him for a life of self-support. 
He turned out to be apt in a subject dreaded by most 
boys — mathematics. But, above all, he became inter- 
ested in surveying, an occupation which, it later turned 
out, was to open to him his future career. 

At the end of two years George returned to his 
mother at Fredericksburg and is said to have received 
a little more schooling at the hands of a Rev. Mr. 
Marye, although this also is a matter of tradition. Cer- 
tainly at this time he wrote out the famous "One Hun- 
dred Rules of Civility." For a time George was credited 
with having composed these rules himself, but it is 
known now that they were a sort of standard copybook, 

156 Washington Bicentennial 

first issued in French and later translated into English. 
Whatever their origin, George faithfully copied them 
into his book — and into his life. 

The story of George's ambition to go to sea, and of 
his manfully giving it up at the earnest wish of his 
mother, is also well known. He set himself instead to 
earn money by his surveying. And here again was a 
test of his character, since George had been born into a 
social circle which thought it undignified for a man to 
earn his own living. 

Meanwhile George's half-brother, Lawrence, had 
taken a fancy to the boy and stood ready to help him 
in every possible way. For a time George lived at Mount 
Vernon, all the while devoting himself to his surveying. 
This warm-hearted brother wisely let him have his way, 
and did even better. He introduced George to Lord 
Fairfax, a near neighbor, who also in turn took a strong 
liking to George. Lord Fairfax at once employed the 
1 6-year-old lad to survey his vast lands, and a year later 
got him appointed official surveyor of Culpeper 
County, an important job for a boy of 17. 

Even before George had attained his majority he was 
earning from $5 to $20 a day, a handsome rate of pay 
for the time. But he seems to have earned it, for such 
was the quality of his work that some of the lines he 
ran became afterward the recognized boundaries of 
counties and estates. 

The ability and character of George soon brought 
him to the attention of Dinwiddie, the governor of 
Virginia, and from surveying he was drawn into his 
first military excursions, first as a 21 -year-old major, 
then as a colonel of militia, and his career as we know 

News Releases 157 

it was well begun. The point is, nevertheless, that 
George Washington as a boy was not afraid to face the 
prospect of earning his own way in the world, and 
that he never would have reached the door to his great 
future career if he had not buckled down as a boy with 
the determination of showing his mettle. 

Sea Voyage of Washington and Hoover 

President Hoover's visit to our island territories in 
the Caribbean creates an historic parallel to another 
voyage to those waters made 180 years ago by a young 
man destined also to be President of the United States 
and a world figure, although the young man was not 
then aware of it. The young man in question, then 19 
years of age, was George Washington. 

Even at that early age Washington was the methodical 
man that he remained through life, and faithfully kept 
a day-to-day journal of this his first and only sea 
voyage. Of all the voluminous papers of George Wash- 
ington that have come down to us, this journal is the 
most cut and mutilated, says the Division of Informa- 
tion and Publication of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission. Whole pages of this 
priceless record are missing, and many of the surviving 
pages are mere shreds with but a word or a line of 

What the young Washington does reveal of his 
experiences, however, stands in dramatic contrast with 
this voyage of the thirty-first President, whose day-to- 
day acts are radioed from the battleship that in 10 days 
will have taken him to the Virgin Islands and Porto 
Rico and return. 

158 Washington Bicentennial 

The youthful George Washington set forth on a 
sailing vessel from the Potomac River on September 28, 
1751, and it took him a month and five days to reach 
Bridgetown in the Barbados. His errand was to be a 
companion to his half-brother, Lawrence, who had been 
advised by medical counsel to try the climate of the 
West Indies as a possible cure for tuberculosis. 

The United States battleship which carried President 
Hoover was almost as safe as dry land itself. Note the 
difference in this experience of Washington who, in his 
nineteenth year, was observant enough to jot down this 
entry for October 19: "Hard squalls of wind and rain. 
Sea jostling in heaps occasioned by wavering wind which 
in 24 hours veered; the compass not remaining two 
hours in any point. The seamen seemed disheartened, 
confessing they never had seen such weather before. 
It was universally surmised there had been a violent 
hurricane not far distant. A prodigy in the west ap- 
peared toward the sun's setting about six p. m. remark- 
able for its extraordinary redness." 

On November 2 land was sighted unexpectedly and 
almost by accident, "when by our reckonings we should 
have been near 150 leagues to the windward." Had the 
land not been fortunately sighted, the vessel bearing 
Washington might have been three weeks or more in 
discovering the error. 

On December 22, 1751, young George records: "Took 
leave of my brother and embarked on the Industry, 
Capt. John Saunders for Virginia." It was March 4 
before he reached Pope's Creek, Westmoreland County, 
near the place of his birth at "Wakefield." From there 
he went to Fredericksburg, and arrived at Mount 

News Releases 159 

Vernon, then the property of his half-brother, Law- 
rence, with messages to Lawrence's wife. The doctors 
had held out hope for Lawrence's recovery. 

The hope was in vain. Lawrence Washington failed 
to recover. And as he had always been as much father 
as brother to George, he left Mount Vernon to his young 
half-brother, who there was to nourish the mind and 
spirit that dominated all discouragement during the 
struggles of the Colonies and finally founded the Nation 
and its line of Presidents, the present one of whom has 
steamed over the sailing route of the youth who was 
destined to be a maker of American Presidents. What 
a rounding of the circle, and what a mass of history 
and progress is enclosed within that ring of 180 years! 

Washington Hunted Buffalo and Bear 

Many people are under the impression that George 
Washington's hunting experiences were confined to 
foxes in the vicinity of his home in Virginia. 

Such is not the case. In the autumn of 1770 he 
hunted buffalo while on his trip to the Ohio with his 
friend, Dr. Craik. In his diary of November 2 of that 
year is found this interesting item on buffalo hunting: 

"We proceeded up the River (Kanhawa) with the 
Canoe about 4 Miles more, and then incamped and went 
a Hunting; killed five Buffaloes and wounded some 
others, three deer, etca. This Country abounds in Buf- 
falo and Wild game of all kinds as also in all kinds of 
wild fowl, there being in the Bottoms a great many small 
grassy Ponds or Lakes which are full of Swans, Geese 
and Ducks of different kinds." 

It will be observed that Washington modestly refrains 

160 Washington Bicentennial 

from stating how many of the five buffaloes fell from 
bullets from his rifle. 

On New Year's Day, 1772, some friends called on 
Washington at Mount Vernon. Several days later he 
entertained them with a little hunting trip in the nearby 
forests which he tells about in his diary in this brief way: 

"Went a-Hunting with the above Gentlemen. Found 
both a Bear and Fox, but got neither." 

Washington Hunted on Hoover Camp Site 

George Washington, at the age of 16, often fished on 
the banks of the Rapidan and hunted wild turkeys on 
the ground now occupied by President Hoover's rest 
camp and summer lodge, near Orange, Va. 

In March, 1748, young Washington, in company with 
George Fairfax, started on his first journey beyond the 
Blue Ridge from Belvoir to help survey land owned by 
Lord Fairfax. 

They traveled 40 miles the first day, March 11, 1748. 
Starting from Belvoir, they crossed the Occoquan 
Ferry, striking into the old road leading from the head 
of Quantico to Prince William Courthouse on Cedar 
Run, and traveled west to George Neavil's small country 
tavern. On the following day they met James Genn, 
the surveyor of Prince William County, who was to 
help them get started on their surveying expedition for 
Lord Fairfax. 

Accompanied by Mr. Genn, they rode over the Blue 
Ridge, following the Shenandoah River to Capt. John 
Ashby's place, who kept the original Shenandoah Ferry 
where the Winchester road still crosses that river. From 
here they worked their way to the headspring of the 

News Releases 161 

Potomac River, following the trail through what is now 
Fauquier over the route subsequently adopted for the 
Winchester road, and crossed the river at Ashby's Run. 
Washington's entire trip, including the surveying, 
took only from March 11 to April 13, a few days over 
a month. In his diary, describing the trip, numerous 
mention is made of killing "wilde turkies," and the out- 
door life is vividly portrayed. 

Fort Necessity to be Rebuilt 

Reconstruction of Fort Necessity, near Uniontown, 
Pa., the scene of General Washington's only capitula- 
tion, will be one of the features of the George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Celebration by the State of Penn- 
sylvania in 1932. 

A total of $50,000 has been appropriated for the 
rebuilding of the fort and making it a national memo- 
rial. The British Government has expressed great 
interest in the project, and is expected to send an official 
delegation to the exercises dedicating the memorial. 
Officers of the famous Coldstream Guards, of which 
Braddock was once commander, attended the dedica- 
tion of Braddock's monument last July. 

It was the capture of Fort Necessity by the French 
on July 3, 1754, which brought on the Seven Years' 
War, our French and Indian War, fought here and in 
Europe, and which finally resulted in English domina- 
tion of the new continent. 

Washington was only 22 years old when he com- 
manded this expedition against the French. On March 
15, 1754, he had been commissioned a lieutenant colonel 
of the Virginia regiment, whose colonel, Joshua Fry, 

162 Washington Bicentennial 

was ordered to march to the fort of the Ohio Company, 
situated where the Monongahela and Allegheny unite 
to form the Ohio River. 

Washington began his advance through the wilder- 
ness, and at Great Meadows fortified a position which 
he named Fort Necessity. Presently he learned that the 
French were advancing against him. He did not wait 
for the attack. Instead he "set out in a heavy rain, and, 
in a night as dark as pitch," attacked a party of French 
and Indians, killed 10, including the French com- 
mander, Jumonville, and captured 21 prisoners. 

He continued his advance until he learned that a large 
force was moving against him. He returned to Great 
Meadows and resumed work at Fort Necessity. Mean- 
while Colonel Fry died at Will's Creek, and thus Wash- 
ington came to command the Virginia regiment. The 
enemy appeared before the fort on July 3. After fight- 
ing all day, the French called for a parley. They pro- 
posed that the Virginians should march out with their 
arms, on condition that they would not return to the 
Ohio for one year. As Washington was short of am- 
munition, he agreed to these terms and returned to 
Virginia with his troops. 

For his services, he received the thanks of the House 
of Burgesses. Despite the defeat, the youthful Wash- 
ington learned a principle at Fort Necessity, which was 
of decisive importance in the Revolution — he never 
again allowed himself to be surrounded and besieged. 

While it is not generally remembered, Washington, 
on December 6, 1770, acquired a tract of land of about 
240 acres in Great Meadows on the site of Fort Neces- 
sity. This tract was the land in Pennsylvania retained 

News Releases 163 

by Washington until his death, and is listed in the 
schedule attached to his will at $6 per acre, or at a value 
of $1,404. 

Braddock's Defeat Brought Washington Fame As 


One of the significant dates to be observed next year 
in connection with the Bicentennial Celebration of 
George Washington's birth is July 9, the anniversary of 
Braddock's defeat at the battle of the Monongahela. 
The battle, says the Division of Information and Pub- 
lication of the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission, materially affected the later history 
of this country and was an important factor in the early 
military life of its first President. 

The people of Pennsylvania, especially those living in 
Braddock on the actual site of the famous battlefield, 
appreciate the great historical interest attached to the 
place. In recognition of this, the 175th anniversary of 
the event was observed a year ago with appropriate cere- 
monies and a statue of George Washington as a young 
Virginia militiaman was dedicated. 

The battle of Braddock's Field, as the engagement is 
sometimes called, really was the beginning of the Seven 
Years War which cost France her possessions in Amer- 
ica and considerably altered the subsequent history of 
the New World. The question of taxation which helped 
bring about the Revolutionary War grew out of Eng- 
land's attempt to tax her colonies for revenue to pay 
the costs of the French and Indian War, as it is known 
iri American history. 

164 Washington Bicentennial 

When General Braddock came to America to force 
the French from the territory claimed by England he 
brought an army of British regulars who were veterans 
of European battlefields. He possessed the Englishman's 
contempt for the fighting ability and methods of the 
provincial militiamen and the Indians. However, he in- 
vited Washington into his military family and his force 
included Virginia riflemen, some of whom had been with 
Washington at Fort Necessity the year before. Brad- 
dock's arrogant confidence in the superiority of his own 
men and European military tactics over the backwoods- 
man's method of fighting cost him his life and the battle 
of Monongahela. 

As Braddock neared Fort Duquesne on that July day 
of 1755, the French and Indians attacked his advance 
troops, drove them back and encircled his main body. 
The Britons in their battle formation of closed ranks 
presented a solid target into which their foes, hidden be- 
hind trees and in the underbrush, poured a leaden stream 
with deadly effect. 

There could be but one result. The redcoats, at- 
tacked by an unseen enemy, faced an unfamiliar situa- 
tion. Discharging their muskets at random they broke 
ranks and fled precipitately despite the valiant attempts 
of their officers to rally them. The indiscriminate fir- 
ing of the panic-stricken troops, Washington wrote, 
wrought havoc among their own companions and the 

Young Colonel Washington was conspicuous in his 
courageous efforts to rally the Britons. As he rode fran- 
tically over the field he was an excellent target for the 

News Releases 165 

bidden marksmen. That every effort was made to bring 
him down is attested by the fact that two horses were 
shot under him and his coat was pierced by four bul- 
lets. His bravery and valor were ever after recognized 
at home and abroad. 

It has been said that this battle was, in a way, part 
of the Revolutionary War. At any rate it was closely 
connected with subsequent events which precipitated 
that conflict. The war which commenced with Brad- 
dock's defeat helped bring to a head the irritating ques- 
tion of Britain's right to tax her American colonies. It 
also brought to the front the name of George Washing- 
ton — the man destined to lead the armies of his country 
to victory. 

When Washington Ran for Office 

The vision of George Washington that always rises 
before us at every mention of his name is the Washing- 
ton of later years, the Commander in Chief of the Revo- 
lutionary Army, the man who presided over the Con- 
stitutional Convention, the first President of the United 
States. We forget that even George Washington had 
to pass through an early day of small beginnings, and 
that there must have been a first occasion when George 
Washington had to "carry his district," like any small- 
town officeholder of today. 

In 1755 Washington had rushed back from Brad- 
dock's troops on an important errand. Braddock 
needed cash with which to pay off his men. His aide, 
Colonel Washington, volunteered to get the needed 
money at the Virginia capital, Williamsburg. Inci- 
dentally, he did obtain the 4,000 pounds needed, but he 

166 Washington Bicentennial 

obtained it by borrowing, since the paymaster was 

On his way back to Braddock he paused at Win- 
chester, in the Shenandoah Valley, and there wrote a 
letter to his brother, Jack, in which he toys with the 
idea of running as representative of Fairfax County in 
the Virginia House of Burgesses. Evidently a turn for 
politics had overtaken him, as it had other members of 
his family. 

In this letter to Brother Jack he reports that Major 
Carlyle had banteringly suggested that he run as burgess, 
but, before he will do so, Jack must first learn whether 
Colonel Fairfax has any intention of running for the 
same office. 

In December of that year Lieut. Col. Adam Stephen 
wrote a letter to Washington from Fort Cumberland, 
in which he refers to Washington having been "insulted" 
at the Fairfax election, a reference which leads some 
authorities to the conclusion that Washington may have 
seen his way clear to run for the office — but lost. How- 
ever, Washington's own poll list of the election for Fair- 
fax County does not include his name; but it is among 
those who did not succeed at the polls in Frederick 
County, the frontier county with Winchester as its 

In 1758 Washington again offered himself as burgess 
from Frederick County, and this time he won by a count 
of 310 to 45. 

During both these elections Washington was away 
from his home county on public business, but in the 
final election this appears to have done no damage to 
his interests. It may be, also, that he owed some of his 

News Releases 167 

success to a capable manager, Col. James Wood, for 
Washington wrote a letter to Wood in which he ex- 
presses the warmest appreciation and gratitude for the 
services rendered. Thereafter George Washington had 
little opposition to the part he played in the Virginia 
House of Burgesses. 

Students of history will be quick to compare the 
early political career of Washington with that of 
Abraham Lincoln. Each seems to have gained his first 
lesson in statesmanship from the chagrin of defeat. The 
difference between them begins with the fact that 
Lincoln was not the military man but almost wholly 
the statesman. As such he suffered more defeat than 
Washington, even though Washington was a candidate 
for office more often. 

The point is that both mastered the arts of statesman- 
ship, and learned it first in the hard school of winning 
votes against opposition. A simple operation in arith- 
metic discloses the fact that Washington entered the 
legislature of his State at the age of 27. Thus his 
beginnings in statecraft are almost parallel with his first 
military experiences. How quickly he grasped the prin- 
ciples of war and state a thousand biographies relate in 
the marvelous story of George Washington's after career. 
It is the oak that grew from the acorn days when at 23 
he was a colonel and commander in chief of the 
military forces of his State and at 27 one of her 

George Washington Sees a Coal Mine 

George Washington, in the autumn of 1770, rode 
off to Pennsylvania with the primary purpose of in- 

168 Washington Bicentennial 

specting a tract of 1,600 acres of land in that State, ob- 
tained for him by his agent, Captain Crawford. In 
his diary, Washington notes that on a certain Sunday, 
during this visit, he and Captain Crawford peered into 
a coal mine, out of idle curiosity. True to his love of 
detail, Washington further observes the coal as "burning 
freely, and abundance of it." 

With that, Washington seems to have forgotten coal, 
in the multiplicity of his other interests. Within five 
years the War of the Revolution was to absorb all his 
time and efforts; and after that, the building of the 
United States Constitution and the establishment of a 
permanent form of Government required his full at- 
tention. He never lived to discover what a world of 
meaning he unconsciously wrote into those final words 
of his diary — "Abundance of it." 

The world's reserves of all kinds of coal amounts to 
nearly seven and a half trillion metric tons, we learn 
from the Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission. Of this mass of latent power, we have in the 
United States nearly four trillion tons, or nearly 52 per 
cent of all the known coal embedded in the earth. The 
possession and the use of that coal have utterly trans- 
formed the United States and the world since George 
Washington's day. 

In his time, America was a nation of farmers, small 
traders, and hand manufacturers. It now is the great- 
est and richest manufacturing Nation in all history. If, 
during the honors we are to pay him in 1932, Wash- 
ington could revisit the country that his labors in war 
and statesmanship made possible, these 48 States of to- 

News Releases 169 

day, grown so rich through business and industry, would 
first amaze, and then delight him. It would take noth- 
ing from his greatness that he cut short his notice of 
the presence of coal in America with the brief words, 
"abundance of it." 

A few years after the death of Washington there oc- 
curred a combination of events such as not the farthest- 
sighted man could have foreseen. It was one of those 
turns, like the discovery of fire or the invention of the 
wheel, that almost overnight send humanity on new 
and upward nights of progress. The eighteenth century 
closed with Washington's death; the nineteenth imme- 
diately began with Watt's invention of the steam en- 
gine. The coal to fire it was there "in abundance." 
Power machinery, the railroad, the steamship followed. 
And within 25 years the world was a thing totally dif- 
ferent from what it was when Washington closed his 
eyes upon it. 

The very mine that Washington visited on that Octo- 
ber Sunday in 1770 was on the site of Connellsville, 
Pa., soon to become the greatest coke producing center 
in the world. Note, too, that he records having en- 
tered a mine, an indication that even then coal had been 
dug and used. But the steam engine had yet to be born 
from the brain of Watt. Such coal as was mined 
warmed a few houses round about, and Washington 
turned his back on the vein with a casual notation prob- 
ably reflecting his feeling that the people living near that 
bed were rather in luck. 

It happens that coal was in wider use during Wash- 
ington's lifetime than is usually supposed. Elsewhere in 
his diaries he records the purchase of this or that num- 

170 Washington Bicentennial 

ber of barrels of coal. But its real importance was a 
secret of the future. 

But what an importance now! Glance at these con- 
trasts, and grasp, if you can, their meaning. 

The first discovery of coal in America was reported 
in 1 679 by a party of Jesuit explorers. They found it 
near what is now Ottawa, in Illinois. They probably 
cooked their venison with it. And over a recent 10- 
year period we mined, according to the United States 
Bureau of Mines, more than half a billion tons of bitu- 
minous coal every year, much of it from Illinois. In 
money it was worth a billion and a quarter dollars every 
year. What it was worth beyond that, you may figure 
for yourself, for it moved the industrial system of the 
greatest manufacturing Nation in history. 

Coal was known in Virginia as early as 1700. In 1750 
a mine was opened 12 miles above Richmond, not much 
above 75 miles from Washington's home at Mount Ver- 
non. By 1789 this mine was shipping coal by water 
to Philadelphia, New York, and even to Boston. It was 
used to warm the homes and offices of human beings. 

From 1920 to 1929, the mines of Pennsylvania turned 
out every year nearly 80 million tons of anthracite. For 
that item of personal comfort we paid, every year, 
about 415 millions of dollars. The first Congress of the 
United States, in the first administration of President 
Washington, once appropriated a million and a quarter 
dollars — and frightened the country with its extrava- 
gance. Part of that appropriation was for fire-wood to 
warm the offices of the Department of State. Not a 
pound of coal was bought. 

Anthracite was first discovered, by the way, in Rhode 

News Releases 171 

Island, in 1760. The great beds about Wilkes-Barre 
were first recorded in 1762. Since 1807, according to 
United States Government records, we have mined 
nearly four billion tons of it to warm Americans. In 
the same period we mined nearly 1 6 billion tons of bitu- 
minous coal to drive our machines, our ships, our rail- 
roads — and ourselves. 

Declaration of Independence Hailed With Joy by 

Independence Day, in 1932, will be celebrated with 
a pomp and splendor which has never before been 
equaled in the United States since July 4, 1776, when 
that solemn and sublime document, the "Declaration 
of Independence," was enacted by the Continental Con- 
gress in Philadelphia. 

According to plans being completed by the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, the 
glorious event will be one of the big features of the 
celebration commemorating the two hundredth anni- 
versary of the First President. 

From one end of the continent to the other, programs 
are being arranged by State, city, and town bicentennial 
commissions, which will include Fourth of July parades, 
military and naval pageants, patriotic music, games, 
sports, fireworks, and illuminations. 

Hundreds of prominent men and women, including 
governors of the various States, Senators, and Congress- 
men, mayors, and other city and town officials, have 
shown an enthusiastic cooperation in making this day 
one of the outstanding events in the history of 
the Nation. 

172 Washington Bicentennial 

Tradition gives a dramatic effect to the announce- 
ment of the Declaration of Independence. It was 
known to be under discussion, but the closed doors of 
Congress excluded the populace. They awaited, in 
throngs, an appointed signal. In the steeple of the State 
House was a bell imported 23 years previously from 
London by the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania. 
It bore the portentous text from scripture: "Proclaim 
liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants 

It was late in the afternoon of July 4, 1776. John 
Hancock, President of Congress, was seated in his place 
before a plain mahogany table desk on which rested 
a handsome silver inkstand. In a semi-circle in the 
body of the room were seated the delegates. Charles 
Thomson, the secretary, was seated near by at a similar 
desk, where he kept the official journal. 

The time had arrived for final action, and it was the 
deciding vote of John Morton, of Pennsylvania, swing- 
ing the Keystone State's delegation in favor of inde- 
pendence, that was the turning point. 

The manner in which the affirmative vote of Penn- 
sylvania was secured is one of the most dramatic 
episodes of the Revolution. The Pennsylvania delega- 
tion was instructed by the State Assembly, of which 
Morton was speaker, not to vote for independence. 
In a test vote, on July 1, 1776, a majority of the Penn- 
sylvania delegation followed these instructions, but not 
John Morton. He still insisted on independence. 

John Dickinson and Robert Morris, upright and 
courageous men, who misjudged the crisis, stayed away 
from the session. Morton, therefore, as chairman of 

News Releases 173 

the delegation, agreed with Franklin and Wilson. The 
turning point in the success of that movement so im- 
portant for human liberty was Morton's casting his de- 
ciding vote for independence. Morton is said to have 
declared on his deathbed that "this was the most 
glorious service I ever rendered my country." 

A joyous peal from the Liberty Bell gave notice that 
the bill had passed. Thus was the sovereignty of the 
United States established and the knell of British domi- 
nation sounded. However, it was not until July 8 that 
the adoption by Congress of the Declaration was offi- 
cially proclaimed. This ceremony took place in the 
State House yard (Independence Square) at 12 o'clock 
noon, which was the first public proclamation of the 
document. On July 19, 1776, Congress ordered that 
the Declaration be fairly engrossed, but it was not 
until August 2, 1776, that it was signed as engrossed 
by the members of Congress present. 

No one felt the importance of the event more than 
the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. 
Washington hailed the Declaration with joy. It is true, 
it was but a formal recognition of a state of things 
which had long existed, but it put an end to all those 
temporizing hopes of reconciliation which had clogged 
the military actions of the country. On July 9, 1776, 
he ordered it to be read at the head of each brigade of 
the army. 

"The general hopes," said he in his orders, "that this 
important event will serve as a fresh incentive to every 
officer and soldier, to act with fidelity and courage, as 
knowing that now the peace and safety of his country 
depend, under God, solely on the success of our arms; 

174 Washington Bicentennial 

and that he is now in the service of a State, possessed 
of sufficient power to reward his merit and advance him 
to the highest honors of a free country." 

The excitable populace of the city of New York 
were not content with the ringing of bells to proclaim 
their joy. There was a leaden statue of George III in 
Bowling Green in front of the fort. Since kingly rule 
was no more, why retain its effigy? On the same eve- 
ning, therefore, the statue was pulled down amid the 
shouts of the multitude, and broken up to be made 
into bullets to be used in the cause of independence. 

Some of the soldiers having been implicated in this 
popular demonstration, Washington censured it in gen- 
eral orders as having much the appearance of a riot and 
a lack of discipline, and the army was forbidden to 
indulge in any irregularity of this kind. It was his 
constant effort to inspire his countrymen in arms with 
his own elevated ideas of the cause in which they were 
engaged, and to make them feel that it was no ordinary 
warfare, admitting of vulgar passions and perturbations. 

"The general hopes and trusts," said he, "that every 
officer and man will endeavor so to live and act as be- 
comes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights 
and liberties of his country." 

Washington Elected Commander in Chief 

June 15, 1775, was a turning point in the affairs of 
the thirteen Colonies and a red-letter day in the life 
of George Washington, for on that day the Second 
Continental Congress, meeting in the State House in 
Philadelphia, unanimously chose George Washington 
Commander in Chief of the Continental Armies. 

News Releases 17$ 

Examining the original Journal of Congress of that 
session, we read: 

"Resolved, that a General be appointed to command 
all the Continental Forces, raised or to be raised for the 
defence of American liberty. 

"That five hundred dollars per month be allowed for 
the pay and expences of the General. 

"The Congress then proceeded to the choice of a 
General by ballot, and GEORGE WASHINGTON, 
Esq., was unanimously elected." 

John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts and 
destined to succeed Washington as President of the 
United States almost a quarter of a century later, was 
the strongest advocate of making the "Gentleman of 
Virginia" Commander in Chief. We have his own 
words to prove this statement: 

"I had no hesitation to declare that I had but one 
gentleman in my mind for that important command, 
and that was a gentleman from Virginia, who was 
among us and very well known to all of us; a gentle- 
man, whose skill and experience as an officer, whose 
independent fortune, great talents, and excellent uni- 
versal character would command the approbation of all 
America, and unite the cordial exertions of all the 
colonies better than any other person in the Union." 

John Hancock, President of the Congress, officially 
notified Washington of his election on the next day; 
and the newly chosen General, standing in his place, 
made the following speech of acceptance: 

"Mr. President. 

"Though I am truly sensible of the high honor done 
me in this appointment, yet, I feel great distress from 

176 Washington Bicentennial 

a consciousness, that my abilities and military experi- 
ence may not be equal to the extensive and important 
trust: However, as the Congress desire it, I will enter 
upon the momentous duty, and exert every power I 
possess in their service and for support of the glorious 
cause. I beg they will accept my most cordial thanks 
for this distinguished testimony of their approbation. 

"But, lest some unlucky event should happen un- 
favourable to my reputation, I beg it may be remem- 
bered by every Gentleman in the room, that I this day 
declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself 
equal to the command I am honored with. 

"As to pay, Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress, 
that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted 
me to accept this arduous employment, at the expence 
of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to 
make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account 
of my expences. Those, I doubt not they will discharge, 
and that is all I desire." 

Thus began eight arduous years of fighting with Inde- 
pendence for the Colonies the prize. 

Many States will celebrate June 15, 1932, as one of 
the feature days of the nine -month celebration of the 
two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 

That Glorious Christmas of 76 

In one of the greatest and most spectacular exploits 
of his military career, Gen. George Washington, on 
Christmas night, 1776, wrested a victory from the 
forces of Great Britain and in a few short hours lifted 
the spirits of his countrymen from the despair into 

News Releases 177 

which they had been plunged by a series of defeats and 
reverses. With a sure swiftness that inspired terror in 
the hearts of his enemies, the American Commander in 
Chief, at the head of a small force of 2,400 Continentals, 
crossed the dangerous, ice-filled Delaware River, and, 
in a fury of desperation, fell upon the Hessian troops 
commanded by Colonel Rahl, at Trenton. The net re- 
sult of Washington's action was a thousand prisoners of 
war and a most convincing triumph for the Americans. 

The incidents leading up to and connected with the 
Battle of Trenton are recounted in a story of the ma- 
neuvers by which George Washington saved the cause 
of the Colonies at a time when all hope seemed to be lost. 
It was this movement which restored the confidence of 
the Americans and gave them the courage to continue 
the struggle for liberty in the face of all odds. 

The attack on Trenton had been planned by Wash- 
ington as a means of bolstering the rapidly declining 
hopes of his countrymen. The enlistment term of his 
most valuable and experienced soldiers would expire at 
the end of the year, and he knew that but few could 
be prevailed upon to reenlist under the unpromising 
conditions which then prevailed. It was not only im- 
perative that these troops be reenlisted, but it was just 
as essential that the morale of the entire population be 
improved. The whole country needed the tonic of an 
inspiring victory. 

While General Howe occupied New York in the sum- 
mer of 1776, he employed his army in inflicting a series 
of minor defeats on the Colonials in that vicinity. At 
Long Island, White Plains, Forts Washington and Lee 
on the Hudson and in numerous skirmishes, the British 

178 Washington Bicentennial 

had beaten and discouraged the Americans. As winter 
approached and the weather became more and more dis- 
agreeable, Howe became less inclined to fight and gave 
most of his attention to preparing comfortable quarters 
in which to plan the spring campaign. To the English 
leader it appeared that the Revolution had been all but 
crushed, and he seems to have expected what spirit re- 
mained with the Colonists to wear itself out in the cold, 
freezing snows of winter. At any rate, he had appar- 
ently conquered New Jersey, and by the time spring 
came he would be ready to capture Philadelphia, the 
rebel capital. 

The British commander had stationed troops at sev- 
eral places in New Jersey to prevent the Americans from 
retaking that territory should they make an attempt to 
do so, although little concern was felt in this direction. 
Washington was just across the Delaware River in Penn- 
sylvania, but the condition of his men was such as to 
arouse but little apprehension on the part of the British. 
The entire Continental Army was suffering from a lack 
of food, clothing, guns, ammunition — in fact, nearly 
everything needed to maintain an army was lacking in 
the American camp. No self-respecting European sol- 
dier could entertain anything but contempt for such 
a nondescript body of troops. 

Among the soldiers which Howe had left in the Jer- 
seys was a regiment of Hessians under the command of 
Colonel Rahl. These troops numbered about 1,500, and 
were stationed at Trenton but a very short distance 
from the Delaware. They were hired out by their own 
monarch, without their own consent, to fight for other 
rulers. Many of these soldiers were used in the Revolu- 

News Releases 1 79 

tion by Great Britain. Their lot was not a very happy 

Washington formed his plans with all possible secrecy 
and Christmas was selected as the day for the attack on 
Trenton, because it was believed that the Hessians would 
be wholly unprepared to resist an assault at that time. 
These suppositions proved to be correct, for the boister- 
ous celebration of the Yuletide was at its height when 
the Americans stormed the town in the dawn of that 
cold December morning. 

Washington assembled his men at McKonkey's Ferry, 
on the bank of the Delaware, after a march of nine miles 
through snow and biting sleet. The men were loaded 
into boats which had been gathered and prepared for 
the occasion, and the pitiful little army was soon moving 
across the stream. It was a perilous undertaking, for 
the river was filled with great blocks of ice which many 
times threatened to overturn the crowded craft. But 
the affair was so well planned and executed that not a 
man or gun was lost. There was some delay in getting 
the artillery up, so that by the time Washington was 
ready to move on his objective the night was far gone. 
The enterprise had progressed so far, however, that there 
could be no thought of turning back. 

From the ferry where the crossing had been made 
there remained another nine-mile march to Trenton. By 
this time the temperature had dropped far below freez- 
ing and the troops were in a sorry plight, but they cheer- 
fully resumed the march. The cold was so severe that 
two men froze to death that night. The suffering was 
intensified by the lack of suitable clothing, and a mes- 
senger to Washington was able to find the General by 

180 Washington Bicentennial 

following the bloody footprints which his army left in 
the snow. Many of the muskets were so clogged with 
ice that they could not be fired, but by the time Trenton 
was reached the Americans, as one writer has suggested, 
would have charged with nothing but broomsticks. As 
it was, most of the fighting was done with the bayonet. 

The battle did not last long. Colonel Rahl had un- 
derestimated the mettle of his opponent and had failed 
to erect fortifications or otherwise to prepare for an at- 
tack. This mistake cost him his life and lost to Great 
Britain the services of a thousand hirelings. The Hes- 
sian commander bravely tried to form his men and re- 
sist the attack, but it was made so suddenly and so cour- 
ageously that his tardy efforts were of no avail. This 
time Washington's victory was certain, and after only 
a few minutes of fighting the Hessians surrendered. The 
American casualties consisted of two or three men 
wounded, one of whom was Lieutenant James Monroe, 
later to become President of the United States. 

Washington's hopes for the success of his enterprise 
were fully realized. His strategy and the heroism of 
his troops had the desired effect, for the waning spirits 
of the Americans were revived and the Revolution was 
saved. The British were forced to admit that they were 
opposed by a worthy foeman and from this time for- 
ward their respect for his ability increased. There is 
no doubt that this was a strategic and masterful stroke 
on the part of the American leader. No less an author- 
ity than Frederick the Great, of Prussia, on one occasion 
is supposed to have remarked that "Washington's cam- 
paign in the Jerseys was the outstanding military ex- 
ploit of the century." After his surrender at York- 

News Releases 181 

town, Lord Cornwallis, while dining with General Wash- 
ington, said: "Fame will gather your brightest laurels 
rather on the banks of the Delaware than from those 
of the Chesapeake." 

It is entirely fitting that the American people should 
turn for a moment from the holiday spirit of the season 
and remember with gratitude the sacrifices made by 
these courageous men of the Continental Army and the 
genius of their indomitable leader in the Battle of Tren- 
ton. Surely the nation is deeply indebted to George 
Washington for what he accomplished on that cold, 
stormy Christmas in 1776. 

Washington's Only Fourth of July Address 

The only Fourth of July address ever made by George 
Washington was delivered at Lancaster, Pa., on Inde- 
pendence Day, 1791. This place, at that time, was 
the largest inland town in the United States. 

Washington, in his diary, thus describes the incident: 

"Monday, July 4, 1791. This being the Anniversary 
of American Independence and being kindly requested 
to do it, I agreed to halt here this day and partake of 
the entertainment which was preparing for the cele- 
bration of it. In the forenoon I walked about the 
town — at half past 2 Oclock I received, and answered 
an address from the Corporation and the complimts 
of the Clergy of different denominations — dined be- 
tween 3 and 4 Oclock — drank tea with Mrs. Hand." 

The address from the corporation was as follows: 
"To George Washington, President of the United States: 

"Sir: On behalf of the inhabitants of the borough of 
Lancaster, the members of the Corporation beg leave to 

182 Washington Bicentennial 

congratulate you on your arrival at this place. On this 
jovial occasion, they approach the First Magistrate of 
the Union with hearts impressed with no less grateful 
respect than their fellow-citizens of the East and South. 
With them they have admired those talents, and that 
firm prudence in the field, which finally ensured suc- 
cess to the American arms. But at this time, reverence 
forbids the language which would naturally flow from 
the recapitulation of the events of the late glorious revo- 
lution. The faithful page of history will record your 
illustrious actions for posterity. Yet we cannot forbear 
to mention what we, in our day, have beheld and wit- 
nessed. We have seen you at the awful period, when 
the storm was bursting around us, and our fertile plains 
were deluged with the richest blood of America, rising 
above adversity, and exerting all the talents of the 
patriot and the hero, to save our country from the 
threatened ruin; and when, by the will of Heaven, these 
exertions had restored peace and prosperity to the United 
States, and the great object for which you drew the 
sword was accomplished, we have beheld you, adorned 
with every private, social virtue mingling with your 
fellow citizens. Yet that transcendent love of country, 
by which you have always been actuated, did not suffer 
you to rest here;— but when the united voice of myriads 
of freemen (your fellow citizens) called you from the 
repose of domestic life, actuated solely by the principles 
of true glory — not seeking your own aggrandizement, 
but sacrificing the sweets of retired life to the wishes 
and happiness of your country, we have beheld you, 
possessed of the confidence of a great people, presiding 
over their councils, and, by your happy administration, 

News Releases 183 

uniting them together by the great political bond of one 
common interest. 

"It is, therefore, that the inhabitants of this borough 
seize with joy the only opportunity which has offered 
to them, to testify their approbation of, and their 
gratitude for, your services. 

"Long, very long, sir, may you enjoy the affections 
of your fellow-citizens. We pray for a long continu- 
ance of your health and happiness, and the choicest 
blessings of Heaven on our beloved Country — and on 
You — its Father and its Friend." 

Washington's reply to the above address was as 

"To the Corporation and the Inhabitants of the Borough 
of Lancaster. 

"Gentlemen: Your congratulations on my arrival in 
Lancaster are received with pleasure, and the flattering 
expressions of your esteem are replied to with sincere 

"While I confess my gratitude for the distinguished 
estimation in which you are pleased to hold my public 
service, a sense of justice to my fellow- citizens ascribes 
to other causes the peace and prosperity of our highly 
favored country. Her freedom and happiness are 
founded in their patriotic exertions, and will, I trust, 
be transmitted to distant ages through the same medium 
of wisdom and virtue. With sincere wishes for your 
social, I offer an earnest prayer for your individual 

At 3 o'clock the President and a very large number 
of citizens "sat down to an elegant entertainment, pro- 
vided for the occasion, in the Court House." 

184 Washington Bicentennial 

Fifteen regular toasts were given, and finally Presi- 
dent Washington gave the toast, "The Governor and 
State of Pennsylvania" and retired, when the company 
arose and volunteered a toast, "The Illustrious President 
of the United States." 

Washington Assumed Command at Cambridge 

The people of Massachusetts will have special reason 
to celebrate the third and Fourth of July in connection 
with the nation-wide observance next year of the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Wash- 
ington. Such is the statement of the Division of In- 
formation and Publication of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission commemorating 
the one hundred and fifty-sixth anniversary of the day 
upon which General Washington assumed command of 
the Army of the United Colonies at Cambridge, July 3, 

That Washington was appointed Commander in 
Chief of the American troops was due to the action of 
John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts to the Con- 
tinental Congress. Adams, in a speech before Congress, 
said that the provincial troops then gathering around 
Boston must be accepted as the national army and 
Washington placed at their head, if the Colonies were 
to have any hope of success against the arms of Great 
Britain. It is to the lasting honor of the New Eng- 
enders that they were able to recognize the ability, 
experience, and availability of George Washington and 
to accept him as leader of the armies over men of their 

News Releases 185 

own locality who were justly entitled to consideration 
for the post. 

Washington received his commission from John 
Hancock, another leader from Massachusetts and Presi- 
dent of Congress, June 20, and the next day, accom- 
panied by Gen. Charles Lee, started for Cambridge, 
where the colonists were assembling. He stopped in 
New York long enough to arrange the military affairs 
of that colony, and then proceeded to Watertown, where 
he was received by the Provincial Congress of Massa- 
chusetts. He replied to the address of the congress in 
the following terms recognizing the loyalty of 

"Your kind congratulations on my appointment and 
arrival, demand my warmest acknowledgments, and 
will be ever retained in grateful remembrance. In ex- 
changing the enjoyments of domestic life for the duties 
of my present honorable but arduous situation, I only 
emulate the virtue and public spirit of the whole 
Province of Massachusetts Bay, which, with a firmness 
and patriotism without example in modern history, 
have sacrificed all the comforts of social and political 
life, in the support of the rights of mankind, and the 
welfare of our common country. My highest ambition 
is to be the happy instrument of vindicating those 
rights, and to see this devoted Province again restored 
to peace, liberty, and safety." 

Washington arrived at Cambridge Sunday afternoon, 
July 2, and was received by General Ward, then in com- 
mand of the Americans, with every expression of 
friendship. That night a dinner was given in honor of 
the new commander and General Lee, and Washington 

186 Washington Bicentennial 

received the military records from General Ward. The 
next day he formally took command of the troops, as 
is indicated by the first order from Washington, which 
is dated July 3, 1775. Significantly, this order was a 
call for every colonel to make a detailed report of his 
regiment and the ammunition in his possession. 

It was the beginning of a long and bitter struggle. 
No one realized this better than the new Commander in 
Chief. Had there been any weakness in him when he 
viewed the collection of farmers and militiamen that 
made up his new army, he must have quailed at the 
thought of confronting the military force of a great 
nation with them. But there was no shrinking in his 
acceptance of the trust his countrymen placed in him. 

Washington knew that his untrained army would 
fight for the liberty which was dearer than life. Given 
this spirit, he felt that it would compensate for lack of 
experience. In return, the men he was to lead gained 
faith in their commander. It was the combining of 
forces which were to win the freedom of this country 
and establish the United States. 

That Winter at Valley Forge 

One of the saddest, and yet most glorious dramas in 
the history of the American Revolution began 153 years 
ago when, on December 19, 1777, General George 
Washington established his winter camp at Valley 

Owing chiefly to the inefficiency of Congress, the or- 
ganization of supply broke down. Washington's sol- 
diers, steadily dwindling in numbers, marked their road 

News Releases 187 

to Valley Forge by the blood from their naked feet. 
They were destitute and in rags. Napoleon Bonaparte's 
statement that "An army moves on its belly" was 
known, through bitter experience, by Washington more 
than 25 years before the "Little Corporal" made his fa- 
mous remark. 

In a letter to Governor Clinton, of New York, the 
Commander in Chief wrote from Valley Forge: "For 
some days past, there has been little less than a famine 
in camp. A part of the army has been a week with- 
out any kind of flesh, and the rest three or four days." 
This letter followed a previous communication to Con- 
gress, when, on December 23, 1777, Washington wrote: 

"I am now convinced beyond a doubt, that, unless 
some great and capital change suddenly takes in that 
line, (the commissary department) this army must in- 
evitably be reduced to one or other of these three things; 
starve, dissolve, or disperse in order to obtain subsistence 
in the best manner they can." 

Notwithstanding this deplorable condition of the 
army, the Pennsylvania Legislature remonstrated against 
the army going into winter quarters, expecting Wash- 
ington to keep to the open field, and even to attack the 
British, with his starving, ragged army, in all the severity 
of a northern winter. At this time, the whole num- 
ber of men in camp was 11,098, of whom 2,898 were 
unfit for duty "because they were barefoot and other- 
wise naked." 

In making this statement to Congress, and alluding 
to the remonstrance of the Pennsylvania Legislature, 
Washington said: "I can assure those gentlemen, that 
it is a much easier and less distressing thing to draw 

188 Washington Bicentennial 

remonstrances in a comfortable room by a good fireside, 
than to occupy a cold, bleak hill, and sleep under frost 
and snow, without clothes or blankets. However, 
although they seem to have little feeling for the naked 
and distressed soldiers, I feel superabundantly for them, 
and, from my soul, I pity those miseries, which it is 
neither in my power to relieve or prevent." 

General LaFayette, who had joined Washington's staff, 
reported that "the unfortunate soldiers were in want 
of everything; they had neither coats, hats, shirts, nor 
shoes; that their feet and legs froze until they became 
black, and it was often necessary to amputate them. 
From want of money they could neither obtain provi- 
sions, nor any means of transport; the colonials were 
often reduced to two rations, and sometimes even one. 
The army frequently remained whole days without pro- 
visions, and the patient endurance of both soldiers and 
officers was a miracle which each moment served to re- 

Even while struggling against cold and hunger and 
destitution, General Washington was devising a new 
system for the organization and permanence of his 
forces. In his reports to Congress he kept insisting that 
his officers must have better provisions, for they had 
begun to resign, saying in effect: "You must appeal to 
their interest as well as to their patriotism, and you must 
give them half -pay and full pay in proper measure. 
You must follow the same policy with the men; you 
must have done with short enlistments." 

There is no doubt but that through the misery and 
suffering of that wretched winter, Washington felt su- 
premely sure of securing victory and independence. 

News Releases 189 

Had it not been for his strenuous labor and fervent ap- 
peals, his army would have dissolved. He held it to- 
gether and slowly improved it. That he appreciated 
the hardships suffered by his soldiers is borne out by the 
following in Washington's orderly book of March 1, 

"The Commander in Chief again takes occasion to 
return his warmest thanks to the virtuous officers and 
soldiery of this army, for that persevering fidelity and 
zeal which they have uniformly manifested in all their 
conduct. Their fortitude, not only under the common 
hardships incident to a military life, but also under the 
additional sufferings to which the peculiar situation of 
these states had exposed them, clearly proves them 
worthy of the enviable privilege of contending for the 
rights of human nature, the freedom and independence 
of their country. The recent instance of uncomplain- 
ing patience during the scarcity of provisions in Camp, 
is a fresh proof that they possess in an eminent degree 
the spirit of soldiers and the magnanimity of patriots." 

The terrible breakdown of the commissary system 
came at Valley Forge when Washington was passing 
through the darkest hours of his military career. He 
had been defeated at Brandywine and Germantown and 
forced from the forts after a desperate struggle; he had 
seen Philadelphia and the river fall completely into the 
hands of the enemy; and, bitterest of all, he had been 
obliged to hold back from another assault on the British 
lines. And when the enemy withdrew, Washington was 
left to face again the harsh winter and the problem of 
existence, which will be remembered as one of the hard- 
est experiences ever suffered by an army. 

190 Washington Bicentennial 

Where Washington Crossed the Delaware 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission notes with interest that the members of 
Congress from Pennsylvania and New Jersey are plan- 
ning to introduce a resolution for a Washington Me- 
morial Bridge, to be erected over the Delaware River 
above Trenton. This bridge would serve to commemo- 
rate that spectacular exploit, "Washington Crossing the 
Delaware," on Christmas night of 1776. If Congress 
passes this resolution, every effort will be made for the 
completion of the bridge by 1932, in time for the 
celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of George Washington. 

The last month of the year 1776 found General 
Washington at the head of a thoroughly discouraged 
and demoralized army. What was perhaps worse, the 
enthusiasm of the Colonies had waned, and throughout 
the land the hopes of the patriots were giving way to 
despair. The Continental Army had but a few victories 
to its credit, and a series of defeats had resulted in the 
general depression now extending alike to the country's 
citizens and soldiers. 

Washington was confronted with the loss of the 
greater part of his army by the termination of short- 
term enlistments on the last day of December. It 
appeared doubtful whether many of the men would 
reenlist, and the Commander in Chief had already ex- 
perienced the difficulty of obtaining new troops. With 
his unerring judgment he saw that the only thing which 
could save the cause of America in this dark hour would 
be a complete and convincing victory achieved by the 
American Army. He could not find it in his great 

News Releases 191 

heart to shrink from any difficulty, so he set about to 
accomplish the all-important triumph. 

On the New Jersey side of the Delaware the British 
commander had stationed General Rahl with his three 
regiments of Hessian mercenaries. Washington cor- 
rectly gauged the German plans for celebration, when 
he supposed the Hessians would be enthusiastically ob- 
serving Christmas. Rahl had no idea that the rebel 
chieftain across the river would want to fight on such 
a holiday and felt perfectly secure in his Yuletide 
revelry. But he underestimated the abilities and de- 
termination of his antagonist, and his sad mistake re- 
sulted in the abrupt termination of his usefulness as a 
hireling warrior and deprived Britain of a considerable 
number of her Hessian troops. 

Washington began his own Christmas festivities by 
marching through deep snow and intense cold to a spot 
on the Delaware River 9 miles above Trenton, known 
as M'Konkey's Ferry. From this point the Continentals 
embarked in boats of every description for the New 
Jersey shore. It consumed 10 hours of soul- trying labor 
to get the 2,500 troops, under the General's personal 
command, across the storm-swept river in the inky 
blackness of that Christmas night, but neither a man 
nor a gun was lost in the crossing. 

After successfully negotiating the river, the Ameri- 
cans made an arduous march to Trenton. The Hessians 
were totally unprepared for the attack which fol- 
lowed and were able to offer but little resistance. 
General Rahl was mortally wounded, and the little 
patriot army captured 900 of the mercenaries, while 
themselves suffering the trifling casualties of four 

192 Washington Bicentennial 

wounded. Among these was James Monroe, the future 
President of the United States. 

Washington's hopes were justified. His signal victory 
infused new hope into the Colonies, and the cause of 
American freedom was once more saved. After Corn- 
wallis had surrendered at Yorktown he paid tribute to 
the sagacity of the American Commander in Chief in 
effecting the downfall of the British Army, but he also 
added that history would pluck Washington's brightest 
laurels from the Jerseys. No less a personage than 
Frederick of Germany delighted in the strategy em- 
ployed by General Washington, and was said frequently 
to have referred to it as the outstanding campaign of 
the Revolutionary War. In the Battle of Trenton the 
Britons realized the temper of the man they had to 
fight. When they thought he was beaten, he wrested 
a victory from them on his own account and admin- 
istered a blow that convinced Howe that the war was 
not yet ended. 

The proposed project to memorialize this important 
event by the erection of a bridge across the Delaware 
River at the place of Washington's crossing is both 
appropriate and timely. Although the States of Penn- 
sylvania and New Jersey have built parks at the point 
of transit on their respective banks of the river, little 
else has been done adequately to mark this famous site. 
The proposed bridge could be built at an approximate 
cost of a million and a half dollars. 

The Battle of Princeton 

The name of George Washington is inseparably 
associated in the minds of the people of New Jersey 

News Releases 193 

with the date January 3, for it marks the anniversary 
of the Battle of Princeton, which was personally planned 
and carried out by the great Commander in Chief of 
the American armies in the Revolutionary War. This 
was the culminating stroke in that brilliant campaign 
in New Jersey by which Washington drove the British 
from the Garden State, completely reversed the fortunes 
of the day, and established the fact that he was a mili- 
tary strategist possessed of remarkable ability. The 
very presence of such a famous battle ground within 
the borders of this little State adds all the more to the 
wealth of historic sites and mementoes of early Ameri- 
can history for which New Jersey is renowned. 

The Battle of Princeton, fought on January 3, 1777, 
was one of the most important engagements of the 
Revolutionary War, and as a stimulus to the fading 
hopes of the Americans in the early part of that 
struggle, its effect was invaluable. 

After General Washington had surprised and 
captured the Hessians at Trenton by his maneuver on 
Christmas night, 1776, he retired across the Delaware 
into Pennsylvania. Not content with this success, 
however, he determined again to assume the offensive, 
and on December 29 he once more crossed the Dela- 
ware into New Jersey and stationed his men at Trenton. 
Here he was joined by Generals Mifflin and Cadwal- 
lader in command of 3,600 militiamen, but even with 
this addition Washington's force did not exceed 5,000 

At this point the position of the American 
commander became critical, for on January 2 Lord 
Cornwallis advanced upon him with a magnificent and 

194 Washington Bicentennial 

well-trained army. The Continentals and militiamen 
were, in everything but courage and determination, 
inferior to the British. Washington realized that he 
could not give battle at Trenton, and, as Cornwallis 
approached, he withdrew his troops across the As- 
sumpink Creek and placed his artillery so as to protect 
the fords across this stream. The Briton made some 
attempts to cross the creek, but the day was so far gone, 
his troops were so tired, and the American cannon gaped 
at him so discouragingly that he decided to postpone 
the battle until the next day. However, he felt sure that 
Washington could not escape him, and remarked to his 
officers: "At last we have run down the old fox, and 
we will bag him in the morning." 

But the "old fox" was not to be so easily trapped 
and immediately prepared to slip away. Leaving a few 
men in camp with instructions to keep campfires burn- 
ing and maintain a noisesome pretense of digging in- 
trenchments, Washington quietly withdrew his troops 
to the left of the redcoats and started in the night for 
Princeton. It was believed that the British force at 
this place was small enough to be quickly subdued, and, 
after defeating them, Washington planned to continue 
to Brunswick, where he intended to capture or destroy 
the stores which General Howe had collected at that 
place. This daring movement would place the enemy 
on the defensive and would force him to change his 
plan to attack Philadelphia. 

Early in the morning of January 3, as the Ameri- 
cans approached Princeton, they were seen by Colonel 
Mawhood, who was just leaving to join Cornwallis at 
Trenton. Mawhood, thinking the troops he saw were 

News Releases 195 

a body of American stragglers, immediately attacked 
the van, which consisted principally of militia com- 
manded by General Mercer. In the sharp but brief 
action which ensued, Mercer was killed and confusion 
seized his troops. At this juncture Washington rode up 
with the Continentals and, with utter disregard for his 
own safety, he unhesitatingly assumed command and 
exposed himself to the enemy's fire in order to rally the 
militia. The Americans, taking heart, attacked with 
spirit, and Mawhood was forced to retire. He did so 
with alacrity, and continued on his way to join Corn- 
wallis, although part of his troops had fled toward 

Washington pushed on into Princeton where an 
enemy regiment was barricaded in the college. After 
only a show of resistance these troops surrendered, and 
the battle was over, having lasted less than 30 minutes. 
The Americans, however, were completely fatigued. 
Many of them had been without sleep for two nights. 
They had no blankets, their clothes were mere rags, 
and many of them were barefooted. Under these con- 
ditions it was impossible to proceed to Brunswick, and 
the attempt to capture the British stores at that city 
was abandoned. 

The weary soldiers had no opportunity to rest, 
however, for Cornwallis had by this time discovered 
Washington's plans and was already on his way to 
Princeton with a force large enough to crush the Amer- 
icans. Washington therefore immediately marched his 
troops to Pluckamin, where they were allowed to re- 
fresh themselves before moving on to Morristown. At 

196 Washington Bicentennial 

the latter place Washington established his winter 

Any doubt as to George Washington's military 
ability that might have existed before this time was 
completely dispelled by this short New Jersey campaign 
of three weeks. The spectacle of an apparently beaten 
leader of a forlorn and sorry army, suddenly turning 
upon his pursuer and by superior strategy outgeneral- 
ing and beating him in turn was well nigh unbelievable. 
But it had actually happened, and Washington's daring 
genius had nullified the effect of the recent British 
victories. Nearly the whole of New Jersey was thus 
regained, and as Fortescue, the historian of the British 
Army has written, "the whole course of the revolution 
in America was saved by Washington's very bold and 
skillful action." 

Washington Prevented Rout at Monmouth 

George Washington is known to most people as a 
cool, reserved person, incapable of exhibiting any degree 
of emotion. That he was human enough, however, to 
be justly angry is pointed out by the Division of In- 
formation and Publication of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission in a story of the 
Battle of Monmouth, which occurred on June 28, 153 
years ago. On that occasion Washington displayed a 
temper which marked him as a real human being. 

In the celebration next year of George Washington's 
two hundredth birthday anniversary, the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission intends to 
portray the true character of the first President. He 

News Releases 197 

was not perfect — he was human and possessed of faults 
which in no wise detract from his greatness and the 
reverence which is his due. The people of America will 
honor the memory of a fellow man, not a demi-god. 

The Battle of Monmouth took place on a day of 
intense heat which affected both armies. The situation 
was highly favorable to an American victory. What- 
ever may have been the actual situation — and historians 
have taken varying attitudes — the failure of the Con- 
tinentals to secure the triumph which appeared within 
their grasp undoubtedly was directly due to the actions 
of Gen. Charles Lee. This officer did not carry out his 
orders, and through inadequacy or treachery, caused the 
retreat of the American troops, and was especially 
guilty in not giving his Commander in Chief informa- 
tion of the new conditions. 

Sir Henry Clinton evacuated Philadelphia June 18, 
and Washington was anxious to attack the entire British 
force, which was encumbered and seriously hampered 
by baggage. Lee opposed a general engagement, and 
it was his vehemence in expressing his opinion that led 
some of his fellow officers later to suspect him of will- 
fully disobeying orders. 

When Clinton left Philadelphia, General Washington 
followed him closely, awaiting an opportunity to attack. 
This opportunity appeared near Monmouth, and the 
American commander issued orders to proceed against 
the enemy on the morning of June 28. Lee, as senior 
major general, was to command the advance troops, 
and had explicit instructions from Washington to attack 
and sustain the action. At the head of the main body 
the Commander in Chief was to support the advance. 

198 Washington Bicentennial 

The booming of cannon had hardly conveyed to 
Washington the fact that fighting had begun on the 
front before a rider informed him that the Continentals 
were retreating. The news seemed incredible, but con- 
firmation was soon received from troops in flight. 
Washington immediately started for the front, meeting 
more and more retreating soldiers as he rode. He began 
to suspect Lee's conduct, and his temper started to rise. 
By the time he reached Lee it was apparent that the 
latter had blundered or was guilty of misconduct, which 
had almost turned certain victory into ignominious 

Lafayette later said that Washington's countenance 
was terrible to behold. He took Lee to task in such 
severe terms that even that blundering officer was taken 
aback. Just what the Commander in Chief actually 
said to Lee probably never will be known, for at a sub- 
sequent trial so much conflicting testimony was sub- 
mitted that the truth is difficult to obtain. It seemed 
evident enough, however, that Washington spoke with 
some heat, which, under the circumstances, was 
entirely justified. 

Although denied the victory, which seemed within 
his grasp, Washington was able to stem the retreat and 
halt the advancing British. Heroic work by Greene, 
Wayne, Lafayette, and other officers was of immeasur- 
able value in saving the American troops. Night ended 
the battle, and before morning Clinton left the field and 
was many miles away when day broke on the weary 
Continentals. The British general had lost so many men 
that he was glad to take refuge in New York, where he 
remained for the rest of the year. 

News Releases 199 

How Washington Observed Christmas 

There seems to be an appeal, universal in its extent, 
about Christmas which stirs in the heart of everyone 
a desire to celebrate that day at home with his family. 
It is an appeal which can be understood by all men for 
it is experienced by all in common. As the Christmas 
season approaches this year, with the celebration of the 
Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of George 
Washington so imminent, the thoughts of all Americans 
are directed toward the founder of this country and the 
manner in which he observed the Yuletide during his 

No man ever had more love for his home or a keener 
desire to be there with his family than George Washing- 
ton, and yet his duties kept him from this enjoyment 
to an extent, perhaps, experienced by few other men. 
This was especially true of Christmas. There are com- 
paratively few recorded instances after 1774 when the 
Father of his Country was able to observe this occasion 
in the happy quiet of his own home. On the contrary, 
this day often found him far from his estate under con- 
ditions hardly to be considered desirable. Once he was 
in the cold cheerless wilderness near Fort le Boeuf on 
the Ohio River when Christmas overtook him. Another 
time he was at Boston laying siege to the British in that 
city. Again he is found celebrating the day by attack- 
ing the Redcoats at Trenton, and the following year in 
Valley Forge, now one of America's dearest shrines. 

But regardless of the circumstances in which he found 
himself at Christmas time, Washington was always ready 
to meet the exigencies which arose. If he had to treat 
with the savages in their home, the forest, he did it; if 

200 Washington Bicentennial 

a battle had to be fought as at Trenton, he unhesitat- 
ingly accepted the task; if he was cold and poorly sup- 
plied as at Valley Forge, he made the best of it and re- 
fused to become discouraged. Whatever the demand, 
Washington was prepared for it and he was never un- 
equal to the occasion. 

During his boyhood Washington experienced much 
the same Christmas joys which usually make that occa- 
sion so important to every young person, but the death 
of his father when George was but 1 1 years old left the 
boy with responsibilities which early developed and ma- 
tured him. He was soon facing a man's problems, and 
it may be assumed that many of these simple pleasures 
were prematurely displaced by other and more weighty 

When George was 19 years old he made the journey 
which took him out of this country the first and only 
time he ever left it. This was when he accompanied his 
brother Lawrence to the Barbadoes on the latter's futile 
quest for health. Incidentally, it was at this time that 
George Washington observed the only Christmas he ever 
spent outside the United States, and it was celebrated on 
the Atlantic Ocean aboard the ship "Industry," just 
three days out from Barbadoes. His diary contains the 
information that the dinner eaten that day consisted 
of an Irish goose which had been fattened for the occa- 
sion, "Beef &ca. &ca.," and states that all on board drank 
toasts to their absent friends. This was a Christmas so 
novel that it surely would have appealed to any youth, 
and young George no doubt thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Vastly different from this one was the Christmas 
which two years later found Washington on his way 

News Releases 201 

home from Fort le Boeuf , where he had gone as a mes- 
senger to the French from Governor Dinwiddie of Vir- 
ginia. Washington's record of this journey places his 
little party in the forests of western Pennsylvania. The 
journal makes no mention of what was eaten or what 
festivities were observed this Christmas day, but certain 
it is that there could have been very little to furnish the 
men with Yuletide cheer. 

Washington was married on January 6, 1759. He 
had just returned from the expedition against Fort 
Duquesne, and his time during the holidays of 1758 was 
absorbed with the preparation of his report of the af- 
fair and his resignation from the army. With the date 
of his wedding so near it is not to be supposed that the 
young Virginia colonel was anything but all too im- 
patient to be with his fiancee to be very deeply con- 
cerned over the celebration of this Christmas. It was 
the last one he spent as a bachelor. 

In the summer of 1758 Washington was elected to 
the Virginia House of Burgesses and he took his seat the 
following February. He served in this assembly until 
the meeting of the first Continental Congress and must 
have spent some Christmas days at Williamsburg or at 
Fredericksburg with his mother. At least one Yuletide 
found the young legislator together with Mrs. Washing- 
ton and the Custis children taking Christmas dinner in 
Fredericksburg with the Colonel's brother-in-law and 
sister, Colonel Fielding Lewis and Betty Washington 
Lewis, for Washington's diary records the event. This 
was in 1769 when the Washington family was on the 
way back to Mount Vernon from Williamsburg, where 
the House of Burgesses had been in session. 

202 Washington Bicentennial 

During this period Washington enjoyed the pleasures 
of home life more fully than at any other time in his 
entire career. His records are filled with notes which 
reveal the interest he took in caring for his estate and 
the satisfaction that he obtained from this labor. In 
these years of comparative freedom from the cares of 
public duty, Washington no doubt found his happiest 
Christmas days. With a capable and efficient wife to 
preside over his home and to entertain his many guests 
he must have been superbly happy. But perhaps Christ- 
mas as a day of pretentious celebration did not mean as 
much then as it does now; or it may have been only be- 
cause there were fewer visitors to Mount Vernon during 
the Yuletide that Christmas Day itself was apparently 
so quiet and Sabbath-like. His diaries during these years 
merely state that he "Went to Pohick Church and re- 
turned to Dinner," or "At home all day." The latter 
entry was made in 1774. It was the last Christmas the 
Father of his Country observed "At home" for eight 

In 1775 the ominously darkening clouds of conflict 
between Great Britain and her Colonies broke in the 
fury of the Revolutionary War, and George Washing- 
ton left his beloved Mount Vernon to lead his country's 
armies to victory. That year, as has been seen, Christ- 
mas found him at the siege of Boston, holding the British 
at bay with an undisciplined army so inadequately sup- 
plied with ammunition that it would have been impos- 
sible for them to repel an attack had one been made by 
General Howe. 

After this there followed the memorable Christmas 
at Trenton when General Washington presented his 

News Releases 203 

country with a victory that saved the Revolution. Then 
came the unforgettable Christmas at Valley Forge — a 
dark and gloomy day, heavy with suffering and priva- 
tion — when the Commander in Chief dined with his 
officers on a meagre supply of veal, mutton, "fowls" and 
a small quantity of potatoes and turnips. The General's 
baggage had not yet appeared, so that there was an in- 
adequate supply of utensils and tableware. There was 
nothing but water to drink at this dinner, and there was 
no dessert. A cheerless Christmas it was. On subse- 
quent Christmas days, at his winter quarters at Morris- 
town, New Windsor and Newburgh, the Yuletide season 
was undoubtedly brightened by the presence of Mrs. 
Washington. Only twice during the eight years of the 
war did General Washington enjoy a Christmas dinner 
outside his own camp. Once in 1778, when he was at 
Philadelphia; and again in 1781, when he and Mrs. 
Washington dined with Robert Morris at the same city. 

After the war was over, Washington returned to 
Mount Vernon in 1783 just in time to celebrate Christ- 
mas at home, and the happiness on that occasion must 
have been great. The diaries then tell of some more 
Christmas days "at home," and then comes his election 
to the Presidency of the new Republic. After eight 
years in this high office, George Washington in 1797 
again returned to his estate. But his life was nearly 
done — spent as it had been in the glorious service of his 
country. Only two more Christmas days remained to 
him, and these were quiet days for the weary old Gen- 
eral. The last Christmas dinner he ate was shared by 
Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney at Mount Vernon. 

In the story of George Washington's Christmas days 

204 Washington Bicentennial 

is written an account of supreme devotion to ideals of 
freedom and liberty. The welfare of his country was 
always foremost in his thoughts and no personal consid- 
erations ever swerved him from what he conceived to 
be his duty. In the light of this knowledge every Amer- 
ican must feel grateful for the example of this great 
man whose achievements have accomplished so much 
for the United States. 

British Fire Salute in Honor of Washington 

The first complimentary salute fired by Great Britain 
in honor of an officer of the United States, and virtually 
the first salute to the Nation occurred on May 8, 1783. 

This event took place at the conference between 
Sir Guy Carlton and General Washington, following 
the cessation of hostilities in regard to the evacuation 
of the posts in the United States, in the position of the 
British troops, and other arrangements. 

On Thursday, May 8, the American party dined on 
board a frigate, where they were received with mili- 
tary honors and entertained with stately courtesy by 
Sir Guy Carlton. When Washington and General 
Clinton went on board the frigate, they were saluted 
with the firing of a number of cannon. When they left 
the boat, she fired 17 guns in honor of Washington's 
exalted military rank. 

Lee's Bravery Wins Washington's Praise 

Among the most gallant and dashing heroes of the 

American Revolution was a young Virginian, Capt. 

Harry Lee (Light Horse Harry), for whom General 

Washington had a great respect and admiration. Lee 

News Releases 205 

was the father of Robert E. Lee, famous Confederate 

One of Captain Lee's brave exploits brought a per- 
sonal letter from Washington, highly praising the dash- 
ing Virginian. Lee had made himself very formidable 
to the enemy by harassing their foraging parties. On 
one occasion there was a flurry at the most advanced 
outpost where he was stationed with a few of his troops. 
An attempt was made to surprise him. A party of about 
200 dragoons, taking a circuitous route in the night, 
came upon him at daybreak. He had but a few men 
with him at the time, and took a post in a large store- 
house. His scanty force was not even large enough to 
allow a soldier for each window. The dragoons at- 
tempted to force their way into the house. 

There was a warm contest. The dragoons were 
bravely repulsed, and sheered off, leaving two killed and 
four wounded. "So well directed was the opposition," 
Lee wrote to Washington, "that we drove them from 
the stables, and saved every horse. We have got the 
arms, some cloaks, etc., of their wounded. The enter- 
prise was certainly daring, though the issue of it was 
very ignominious. I had not a soldier for each window." 

Washington, whose heart evidently warmed more and 
more to this young Virginian, not content with noticing 
his exploit in general orders, wrote a note to Lee on the 
subject, expressed with unusual warmth. 

American Privateers Harass British During 
Revolutionary War 

As the two hundredth anniversary of George Wash- 
ington's Birth approaches, every detail of our First Pres- 

206 Washington Bicentennial 

ident's military achievements becomes of interest and re- 
ceives due notice from historians. 

The winning of independence was not wholly 
achieved on land, and George Washington owed some 
measure of his final victor^ to the naval activities of 
the Colonies during the Revolution. 

No less an authority than Admiral Alfred T. Mahan 
lays down the theorem in one of his masterly volumes 
that the Battle of Saratoga and the surrender of Bur- 
goyne constituted "the decisive event of the war," and 
that the capture of Burgoyne's army was made possible 
by the shrewd operations of a tiny American navy on 
Lake Champlain. Most Americans will be astonished 
at the reminder that the directing genius of that little 
navy was, of all persons, Benedict Arnold. 

As Admiral Mahan points out, Burgoyne's surrender 
directly resulted in France's coming to the aid of the 
Colonies. And it was our "navy" which helped bring 
about this decisive British defeat. The British early 
noted the strategic value of the Hudson River and Lake 
Champlain. If the British could control both of these 
waterways the Colonies would be divided. Two wedges 
were to be driven into this natural barrier; one from the 
south, from New York, the other from Canada, by way 
of Champlain. 

Benedict Arnold with his little fleet of three schooners, 
a sloop, and five "gondolas," in 1776 delayed preparation 
and advance from Canada so long that Carleton from 
that end could not gain a position from which to co- 
operate with Howe, and their synchronization was post- 
poned for a year; a delay which proved fatal, and thus 
the river was never allowed to divide the Colonies. 

News Releases 207 

Meanwhile Revolutionary scourings of the seas con- 
tributed greatly in the success of Washington's siege of 
Boston in 1 77 5 - 1 776, So many supply ships heading for 
the British garrison at Boston were captured, and their 
precious cargoes diverted to the hard-pressed colonial 
troops, that discouragement may easily have helped to 
wear down the British morale. 

On June 23, 1776, occurred the first battle of the 
Revolution in which ships engaged. This was the at- 
tempt of the British to take Fort Moultrie at Charles- 
ton, S. C. According to Admiral Mahan's account, it 
was Bunker Hill transferred to the sea, except that it 
was a more clear-cut success for the Americans. No 
British ships were sunk, but neither was the fortress 
taken. Instead the British fleet sailed away a good deal 
damaged, its commander persuaded that the Yankee 
prize was not worth the heavy price to be paid for its 

The real glory of the Revolutionary naval history be- 
longs to the privateers that roved the sea in great num- 
bers. A great page in our record remains to be writ- 
ten. That page will deal with the important work of 
these privateers, and the adventurous conditions under 
which they operated. 

Massachusetts alone put into commission more than 
2,000 of these privately owned and operated war vessels. 
And to most Americans their mission has been misin- 
terpreted. These privateers were not pirate ships. They 
were duly commissioned by the governments of the 
Colonies. Their commanders were put under heavy 
bond to maintain the customs of the seas as defined by 
international law. They were empowered to capture 

208 Washington Bicentennial 

or sink British merchantmen, but only after humane 
treatment had been accorded to the crews. John Han- 
cock later signed the commissions of the Massachusetts 
privateersmen, and those of other Colonies did their 
work under equally good authority. 

During the eight years of the Revolution, privateers 
were responsible for the capture of 3,057 British ships, 
all with valuable prize cargoes. In fact, it became dif- 
ficult to recruit seamen for the real navy of the Colo- 
nies, because of this profitable business of privateering. 
It was not unusual for a common seaman to receive 550 
pounds as his share of the prize money of a successful 
cruise, and the commanding officers shared accordingly. 
It was good business mixed with patriotism. And the 
embarrassment caused the British by these privateers 
was indeed great. 

The smaller privateers confined their operations to the 
West Indies or to our own coastal waters, but larger 
privateering vessels roamed in foreign seas to such good 
effect that one report from Banff, Scotland, in 1777, 
complains of the time as "so troublesome and our seas so 
full of American privateers, that nothing can be trusted 
upon this defenseless coast." 

Battle of Kings Mountain 

President Herbert Hoover will deliver the main 
address at the sesquicentennial celebration of the Battle 
of Kings Mountain, South Carolina, October 7 next. 
The President is scheduled to open the American Legion 
Convention at Boston on October 6, after which he 
will immediately proceed to North Carolina and then 
to Kings Mountain. 

News Releases 209 

This news is particularly pleasing to the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, which is 
now making arrangements for the celebration in 1932 
of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the 
"Father of His Country." The Kings Mountain vic- 
tory, minor as it appears to be, brought encouragement 
to Washington and his followers when the spirits of the 
Americans were at a low ebb. 

Celebrations of this nature are appropriate fore- 
runners for the nation-wide celebation in 1932, when 
the American people will honor the memory of the 
great leader of those gallant forces of 150 years ago. 

The struggle on October 7, 1780, at Kings Mountain 
was sanguinary. It has sometimes been referred to by 
discerning historians as "the turning point of the Amer- 
ican Revolution." In the early part of 1780 things 
looked dark and discouraging for the Americans. Corn- 
wallis and his followers, flushed with victory, were 
marching through the South pretty much as they 
pleased. This situation worried Washington consider- 

Many loyalists had joined Cornwallis's forces, and the 
South was being torn by the ravages of war, since the 
British regulars were aided by loyalist militia. The 
American forces, led by General Gates, had been com- 
pletely routed by the British at Camden, S. C, and so 
dispersed that it seemed as though Cornwallis might ac- 
complish the subjugation of the entire South. As he 
advanced, his flying forces, under Tarleton and Fer- 
guson, pursued Sumter, who commanded the only 
remaining organized body of colonial troops. 

Col. Patrick Ferguson's force was entirely American; 

210 Washington Bicentennial 

it had a nucleus of regulars of the Provincial Corps and 
the rest were loyalist militia. He threatened to cross 
the mountains and raid the settlements at Watauga in 
present Tennessee and elsewhere. Under Shelby and 
Sevier the backwoodsmen of Virginia assembled in Sep- 
tember to protect their homes and families by an attack 
on Ferguson east of the mountains. They were a motley 
crew in frontier garb, but united by their determina- 
tion, and sharpshooters to a man. 

Ferguson, apprised of their purpose, took post on 
Kings Mountain with a force of 1,104 men. He con- 
sidered the position impregnable to an attack by an un- 
organized horde which had never faced the bayonet. 
The frontiersmen were reenforced by some Carolina 
militia and an advance party numbering 900 men, after 
an all-night ride, stormed up the four sides of the moun- 
tain on October 7. Several times driven back, each wave 
of the advance ran higher. Dodging behind rocks and 
trees, fighting Indian fashion, they advanced, pouring 
into the enemy's lines at the same time an accurate and 
deadly fire. 

The loyalists held out, in spite of their losses, until 
their leader, Colonel Ferguson, was killed. Those that 
remained immediately surrendered. The account for 
the day showed: For the British partisans, 225 killed, 
163 wounded, and 716 prisoners, not one escaped; for 
the Americans, 28 killed and 62 wounded. It was a 
striking victory for the American backwoodsmen. 

This battle, though technically a minor event, had a 
great psychological effect. It renewed the courage of 
the Americans and helped demoralize the English. The 

News Releases 211 

surrender at Yorktown a year later was the culmi- 

Henry Cabot Lodge, in his book, "The English 
Colonies in America," said of this engagement: "The 
effect of this victory was electric. The Loyalist rising 
in North Carolina was checked, the patriots elsewhere 
began to take arms, the partisans under Sumter and 
Marion increased in numbers and activity, while Corn- 
wallis was forced to concentrate his army and move 
more slowly and less confidently." 

Well might the people of the Carolinas celebrate the 
one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of this battle. That 
the President of the United States should make a speech 
for the occasion is a fitting honor to those men who 
fought and died there. 

Washington and the Thirteenth Colony 

In the year of George Washington's birth, 1732, a 
group of Englishmen, led by James Oglethorpe, secured 
from King George II a charter to found a Colony on 
the American territory belonging to the crown. The 
land selected for this enterprise lay to the south of the 
British Colonies and was north of the area claimed by 
Spain as part of Florida. Oglethorpe secured the per- 
mission of his sovereign to take as colonists deserving 
people whose misfortunes had caused their imprison- 
ment as debtors under the unjust laws of the time. 

This was the beginning of the thirteenth and last 
English Colony of the continental group in America. 
Its birth was coincident with the birth of America's 
Founder, and both were to take part in the great 

212 Washington Bicentennial 

struggle which culminated in the establishment of the 
United States. 

In no Colony in America during the Revolution was 
a more bitter partisan warfare waged. The royal 
Governor Wright was able to command enough 
loyalists and Tories at the outset to jeopardize the pro- 
posed separation from England. By the time the Dec- 
laration of Independence was signed in 1776, the 
patriots had succeeded in driving out the obnoxious 
governor and had taken over the government of the 
Colony. However, the loyalists themselves were not 
subdued and a sanguinary conflict was maintained to 
the end of the war. 

In May, 1775, a group of patriots, led by James 
Habersham, Noble Jones, Edward Telfair, Joseph Clay, 
John Milledge, and others, broke into the powder maga- 
zine at Savannah and took powder, which was later put 
to good use by the Americans. A story still persists 
that part of this war-time commodity was sent to Mas- 
sachusetts and used at Bunker Hill. But the first 
armed clash in Georgia between the British and the 
patriots occurred in March, 1776, when the former 
attempted to seize rice-laden ships belonging to Ameri- 
cans at Savannah. 

At the beginning of the war military operations were 
for the most part confined to the northern Colonies, 
but, with the failure to secure a signal victory over 
Washington's army, the British directed their attention 
toward- the South. Charleston and Savannah were 
taken, and the latter was used as a base of operations 
against Virginia and the Carolinas. 

With the inauguration of the southern campaign, the 

News Releases 213 

partisan warfare, which was waged relentlessly, was 
augmented by the well-directed movements of the 
trained British regulars. Washington was unable to 
weaken his own forces by detaching troops to the South, 
and the militia and partisans, led by such men as Col. 
John Baker, Maj. John Berrien, Gen. Elijah Clarke, Col. 
Samuel Hammond, Gen. Stephen Heard, Gen. Lachlan 
Mcintosh, and his nephew, Col. John Mcintosh, and 
Col. James Jackson, were called upon to oppose the 
enemy. These men were courageous and able fighters, 
but, like the rest of the American Army, were suffering 
from lack of supplies. As a result of such handicaps, 
Georgia and her sister States of the South suffered con- 
siderably from the ravages of the enemy before Corn- 
wallis was forced to retire to Yorktown. 

When the Constitutional Convention presented the 
document it had framed in 1787, Georgia was one of 
the first States to take action. With her ratification on 
January 2, 1788, of the Federal Constitution, the Em- 
pire State of the South became the fourth State to enter 
the Union. 

In April, 1791, when President George Washington 
made his tour of the Southern States he was received 
with great acclaim by the people of Georgia. Many of 
the officers of the Continental Army were then filling 
positions of responsibility, and they welcomed their 
great leader with every indication of their admiration 
and esteem for him. 

That Georgia will take her part in the celebration 
next year of the two hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of George Washington is attested by her action 
in appointing a Georgia State Bicentennial Commission, 

214 Washington Bicentennial 

which is arranging and preparing to direct the program 
for the occasion within the State. The committee is 
composed of the following: 

Mrs. Bun Wylie, chairman, Atlanta; Mrs. H. M. 
Franklin, Tennille; Hon. W. M. Frances, Atlanta; Mrs. 
Julius Talmadge, Athens; Mrs. J. W. Daniels, Savan- 
nah; Dr. J. L. Buson, Milledgeville; Senator Walter F. 
George; Representative W. W. Larsen; Dr. Thorn well 
Jacobs, Oglethorpe; Judge James Maddux, Rome. 

Six Washington Birthdays Spent Near British Lines 

George Washington was permitted to celebrate but 
few of his birthdays in the peaceful quiet of his beloved 
home at Mount Vernon, especially during the latter 
years of his life. He lived at a time when this country 
was in the throes of its birth, and fate had decreed that 
he should take an active part in its creation. His serv- 
ices were needed and he was not the one to shirk when 
duty called him into leadership of the armies or the Na- 

During the Revolutionary War, Washington was 
Commander in Chief of the American armies, and in 
this capacity he faced the responsibility of defeating his 
country's enemies. That this was no small job he fully 
realized. On his shoulders rested the task of recruiting 
and maintaining an army composed of men who were 
untrained in warfare, and who only too often were with- 
out the courage and inspiration which animated the 
great General. 

From the beginning of the Revolution in 1775 until 
its close in 1783, when final articles of peace were signed, 
George Washington commanded the American troops. 

News Releases 215 

During this period he had eight birthdays, all of which, 
except the last two, were spent in winter quarters but 
a short distance from the British lines and at times when 
he was in the midst of plans for spring campaigns. 

The first of Washington's birthdays which found him 
at the head of the Army was in 1776, and the General 
was directing the American operations at the siege of 
Boston. A trying time it was, for his soldiers were in- 
adequately equipped and supplied, while the army under 
General Howe was formidable in every respect. The 
following year Washington was iri winter quarters with 
the Army at Morristown, and from his correspondence 
of that time the distressing condition of the troops may 
be realized. The Commander in Chief was forced con- 
stantly to ask for supplies which were not always forth- 

Despite the terrible hardships of the following year 
at Valley Forge, Washington's birthday did not pass un- 
noticed. The band from Proctor's Artillery celebrated 
the event by serenading their chief in front of his quar- 
ters, and the compliment was graciously received as is 
indicated by an item in Washington's expense book for 
that date. The band, members of which were listed as 
musicians, drummers and fifers, was rewarded with a 
gift of one pound 1 shillings in hard money. This was 
the first known public celebration of the event. 

In 1779, General Washington was at Pluckamin or 
Middlebrook, N. J., on his birthday, and the year fol- 
lowing he was again in winter quarters at Morristown. 
The year 1781 found him at New Windsor, Orange 
County, New York, unable to attend the celebration 
of his natal day which was held at Newport by the 

216 Washington Bicentennial 

French allies under Count Rochambeau. The date of 
this commemoration was February 12, it having been 
postponed a day in the hopes that the man for whom 
it was given might be able to get there. February 11 
had been selected for the fete, for the French soldiers 
seemed to prefer following the old style calendar. An- 
other important event happened that year, for on Feb- 
ruary 22, the date of Washington's birth according to 
the Gregorian calendar adopted in 1752, the Marquis 
de Lafayette left for Virginia on the campaign which 
ended the war at Yorktown. A noteworthy coinci- 

After the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, it 
was generally believed that the war was virtually fin- 
ished, but Washington did not propose to disband the 
Army or relax into a state of carelessness as long as a 
definitive peace had not been signed. He therefore re- 
tained command of the troops and urged upon his coun- 
trymen the necessity for continued preparedness until 
peace was concluded at Paris in 1783. In 1782 he was 
in Philadelphia actively engaged in maintaining the 
American Army at as nearly its full strength as was pos- 

The last birthday which Washington spent in the 
Army found him at Newburgh in 1783. His troops, es- 
pecially the officers, were almost in a state of revolt 
which culminated in the famous Newburgh Resolutions. 
The affair was favorably ended, however, in March 
when the Commander in Chief called the dissatisfied 
officers together and with an eloquent appeal to their 
patriotism, averted the impending trouble. The follow- 
ing December, Washington resigned his commission to 

News Releases 217 

the Congress at Annapolis and retired to Mount Ver- 
non for only a few years' rest from public cares before 
being called to fill the office of first President of the 
United States. 

General Washington's Important Headquarters 

During the eight years of the Revolutionary War, 
Gen. George Washington used as his headquarters more 
than 100 places, stretching through seven States. 

These States are: Massachusetts, New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. 
New Jersey possesses the greatest number of these head- 
quarters locations, with New York and Pennsylvania 

The first headquarters of the Commander in Chief 
was the Wadsworth House at Cambridge, Mass., built 
by Harvard College in 1726, for the use of its presi- 
dents, and generally known as the "President's House." 
At that time it was occupied by President Samuel Lang- 
don. A short time later the house of John Vassall, then 
a fugitive loyalist, was prepared for Washington's oc- 
cupancy. The house is now known as the Craigie-Long- 
f ellow House, from its owners, Dr. Andrew Craigie and 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The headquarters re- 
mained here until Washington left Cambridge. 

Washington left Cambridge April 4, 1776, for New 
York City and established headquarters there in a house 
on Pearl Street. In June he moved his headquarters to 
the Motier house, which stood at what is now the cor- 
ner of Varick and Charlton Streets. 

After the retreat from Long Island and the decision 
to abandon New York, Washington's quarters were at 

218 Washington Bicentennial 

Robert Murray's house near Thirty-second Street and 
Fourth Avenue. On September 15, he was at Mott's 
Tavern, Harlem Plains. After the battle of Harlem 
Heights, headquarters were established at the Roger 
Morris house, now better known as the Jumel mansion. 
Washington had numerous other headquarters in New 
York State, including White Plains, and as far up the 
Hudson as West Point. 

Of this large number of locations, eight are best 

known. Seven of these were winter quarters. They 

were: Cambridge, Mass.; Morristown and Middlebrook, 

• N. J.; Valley Forge, Pa.; New Windsor, West Point and 

Newburgh, N. Y. 

One of the most interesting of his headquarters was 
that established at Moore's house, near West Point, where 
Washington remained for four months. It is from this 
house that we have a rare description, from Washing- 
ton's own pen, of a dinner at headquarters. August 
16, 1779, he wrote to Sur. Gen. John Cochran, invit- 
ing Mrs. Cochran and another lady, Mrs. Livingston by 
name, to dine with him, describing and apologizing in 
advance for the meal that would be served. He wrote: 

"I have asked Mrs. Cochran & Mrs. Livingston to 
dine with me tomorrow; but am I not in honor bound 
to apprize them of their fare? As I hate deception, even 
where the imagination only is concerned; I will. It is 
needless to premise that my table is large enough to hold 
the ladies. Of this they had ocular proof yesterday. To 
say how it is usually covered, is rather more essential; 
and this shall be the purport of my Letter. 

"Since our arrival at this happy spot, we have had a 
ham, (sometimes a shoulder) of Bacon, to grace the 

News Releases 2i9 

head of the Table; a piece of roast Beef adorns the foot; 
and a dish of beans, or greens (almost imperceptible,) 
decorates the center. When the cook has a mind to cut 
a figure, (which I presume will be the case tomorrow,) 
we have two Beef -steak pyes, or dishes of crabs, in addi- 
tion, one on each side of the center dish, dividing the 
space & reducing the distance between dish & dish to 
about 6 feet, which without them would be 12 feet 
apart. Of late he has had the surprising sagacity to dis- 
cover, that apples will make pyes; and its a question, if, 
in the violence of his efforts, we do not get one of apples, 
instead of having both Beef -steaks. If the ladies can 
put up with such entertainment, and will submit to 
partake of it on plates, once Tin but now Iron — (not 
become so by the labor of scouring) , I shall be happy 
to see them." 

When the British fleet sailed from New York finally 
and into Chesapeake Bay, the Continentals hurried into 
position between the head of the Bay and Philadelphia. 
Washington's headquarters during these weeks of un- 
certainty were at Quibbletown, Morristown, and Pomp- 
ton Plains, N. J., and Smith's Tavern, Orange County, 
N. Y.; then the Army started on its rapid march to 
protect Philadelphia. 

Headquarters on the march were again at Ramapo, 
Pompton Plains, Morristown, and Coryell's Ferry, N. J., 
and Wilmington, Del. The Battle of Brandywine was 
fought on September 1 1 and the Army retreated by way 
of Germantown and Chester and skirmished again with 
the advancing British at Yellow Springs, Pa. From there 
on the locations of the headquarters were at Reading 
Furnace, Pottsgrove, Pennypacker's Mills, and Skippack. 

220 Washington Bicentennial 

On October 4 came the action at Germantown in the 
defense of Philadelphia. The next day headquarters 
were at Perkiomen; next at Towamencin. 

On December 3, headquarters were moved to Mor- 
ristown, N. J., and remained there until the opening 
of the campaign of 1780, which started with the British 
raid on Springfield, June 7. Twenty-two headquarters 
were established during this summer and fall, of which 
the one at the house of Col. Theunis Day, at Preakness, 
N. J., was of the longest duration. From Preakness, 
which is now the city of Patterson, the headquarters 
moved successively to Paramus, N. J.; Peekskill, Ver- 
planck's Point and Stony Point, N. Y. 

The American Armies crossed the Hudson at King's 
Ferry, August 20, and between then and October 1, 
when the Commander in Chief's quarters were estab- 
lished before Yorktown, but seven headquarters were 
created. Among these were Haverstraw, N. Y.; Ram- 
apo, N. J.; Head of Elk, Md.; Williamsburg, Va.; and 
in the fields before Yorktown, October 1. Cornwallis 
surrendered October 19 and the next headquarters from 
which military orders were issued were in Philadelphia 
and Newburgh, N. Y., where Washington established 
headquarters in the Johnathan Hasbrouck House, which 
is still standing. It was here that Washington made his 
famous address to the dissatisfied Revolutionary War 
officers, and which has since been known in history as 
the Newburgh address. 

His last headquarters were established at Rocky Hill, 
N. J., 4 miles north of Princeton. It was from here 
that he issued his farewell orders to the armies of the 
United States on Sunday, November 2, 1783. Head- 

News Releases 221 

quarters were here broken up near the middle of that 
month and Washington reached West Point November 
14. Here he remained until, with about 1,000 troops, 
he marched into New York on November 25, 1783. 

Patriotic Farmers Eager to Join Army 

When it is remembered that the entire population 
of the thirteen Colonies was only about 2,600,000, it 
is not hard to realize what a bold stand the little hand- 
ful of Americans took when they declared their inde- 
pendence of Great Britain. 

It is all the more remarkable when it is taken into 
consideration that the Colonists had not even been en- 
tirely united, the men of New England having been 
so eager and determined to begin the battle for freedom 
that they had not waited for others to join them, but had 
gone ahead on their own responsibility. 

As soon as the result of the battle between the British 
and the Minute Men was known, the angry and patriotic 
Colonists rushed for Boston to join their bold fellow 
patriots. Israel Putnam had been plowing in the fields 
at Pomfret, Conn., when the report of the battle came 
to him. Instantly abandoning his task, he left word for 
the militia to follow him, and leaping upon the back 
of his horse, he rode so swiftly on his journey of 100 
miles that in about 18 hours he arrived in Cambridge, 
where the Minute Men were assembled. At the same 
time John Stark came down from New Hampshire with 
the first company of men from that colony. Benedict 
Arnold, who was then a captain, had taken 60 men from 
the assembly of students and others from New Haven 
and also joined the little patriot army. 

222 Washington Bicentennial 

From the farms and hillsides, from the villages and 
hamlets, the angry Colonists came, and so it was that 
in a very brief time General Gage and his soldiers found 
themselves besieged in Boston by an army that was made 
up of 16,000 poorly equipped, but very determined men. 

Apparently no one knew just what to do next. It 
was determined to hold the redcoats in the city, but 
what to expect, or what the next move was to be, there 
was no one to decide. 

On the 10th of May, two events occurred which did 
much to decide the future of the Colonies and of the 
war. One of these was the capture of Fort Ticonderoga 
by Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain boys; and the 
other was the assembling of the Continental Congress 
in Philadelphia, which was to decide among other prob- 
lems the appointment of a Commander in Chief for the 
Continental Armies. 

Public Health in Washington's Day 

By Sur. Gen. H. S. Cumming, United States Public 
Health Service 

While our present public health activities, with the 
exception of vaccination against smallpox and the use 
of quinine in the treatment of malaria, belong almost 
wholly to the past 50 or 60 years, a comparison of the 
prevalence and severity of disease and the state of the 
public health during the lifetime of George Washing- 
ton with such conditions of the present time is of in- 
terest. Such a study is particularly timely because of 
the arrangements being made by the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission for the 

News Releases 223 

celebration of our first President's two hundredth birth- 
day in 1932. 

Historical records indicate that the principal obstacles 
which the early American Colonists had to overcome 
were starvation, disease, and the Indians. These three 
things conspired to impose great hardships upon the 
early settlers and constant hazards to life. In some in- 
stances entire settlements were wiped out by disease and 
starvation. Though school histories do not mention the 
fact, it is on record that Jamestown was abandoned 
"because of epidemicals." The more prevalent diseases 
in the Colonies were smallpox, scurvy, intestinal condi- 
tions — diarrheas, dysenteries — and what is now recog- 
nized as typhoid fever. There were, of course, out- 
breaks of influenza and colds; and tuberculosis was not 

Smallpox was one of the most fatal and most com- 
mon diseases of the period. This disease was epidemic 
in Philadelphia in 1730, two years before the birth of 
Washington. Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography 
relates that in 1736 he lost a son, "a fine boy of four 
years old, by the smallpox." He adds that "I long re- 
gretted him, and still regret that we had not given it 
to him by inoculation." 

It was not until the latter part of the eighteenth cen- 
tury (1796) that Dr. Edward Jenner, an English physi- 
cian, published his observations on the value of vaccina- 
tion against smallpox and showed the world how the 
disease could be prevented. The practice of vaccina- 
tion was first introduced into the United States by Dr. 
Benjamin Waterhouse, one of the early officers of the 
United States Public Health Service (then called Ma- 

224 Washington Bicentennial 

rine Hospital Service) , in Boston, in 1800. He obtained 
some vaccine virus from England and vaccinated his 
own son, thus performing the operation in this country 
for the first time. Thomas Jefferson was greatly in- 
terested in vaccination and endeavored to encourage its 
widespread use. An act of Congress approved Febru- 
ary 27, 1813, entitled "An act to Encourage Vaccina- 
tion," provided for the distribution of vaccine virus 
throughout the United States. Despite the fact that 
more than a century has elapsed since the efficacy of 
smallpox vaccination was proved, universal vaccination 
is not yet practiced and the disease is still quite preva- 
lent in this country, although less severe than formerly. 

Measles seems at times to have raged very fatally in 
some of the Colonial towns. In 1740 and 1741 Con- 
necticut was swept by a severe epidemic of measles. In 
1773 measles broke out in epidemic form in Philadel- 
phia. A very malignant epidemic occurred in New 
York in 1778. The type of measles which occurs now 
is quite mild as compared with that period. 

Epidemics of influenza prevailed throughout the Col- 
onies at various times. In 1747 influenza raged over 
North America, and again in 1761. A characteristic 
description of the condition is given by a physician of 
that time as follows: "It began with a severe pain in the 
heads and limbs. A sensation of coldness, shivering, 
succeeded by great heat, running at the nose and a 
troublesome cough. It continued for 8 or 10 days, and 
generally terminated by sweating." The disease was 
epidemic throughout the country in the spring of 1781, 
and was observed to leave a tendency to the develop- 
ment of pulmonary tuberculosis. The recurrence of 

News Releases 225 

severe epidemic outbreaks of influenza unfortunately 
is still of common occurrence. 

In 1735 and 1736, Boston was visited by an epidemic 
of what was undoubtedly diphtheria, though the term 
"angina maligna" was used. A similar outbreak is de- 
scribed at about the same date as having occurred in 
New York. Numerous other outbreaks are also re- 
corded. The first aid to the control of this disease was 
the discovery of diphtheria antitoxin in 1894. The de- 
cline in the death rate from this disease has been very 
marked, from about 116 per 100,000 population in 1890 
to 6.6 per 100,000 in 1929. 

At the beginning of the century prior to the birth 
of Washington, one writer refers to "fluxes, fever and 
the belly ache" as being common conditions. He re- 
lates the above-mentioned conditions to improper eat- 
ing. Dysentery appears to have been a rather common 
summer-time complaint in the Colonies. It was not 
until the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, 
that typhoid fever and typhus fever were differentiated. 
As late as 1 842 a writer on medical subjects in the United 
States classified the fevers under four headings — typhus, 
typhoid, periodic, and yellow fever. Today typhoid 
fever is a vanishing disease. 

Yellow fever visited the Colonies and States on sev- 
eral occasions, an outbreak of particular severity having 
occurred in Philadelphia in 1793. New York suffered 
from a severe epidemic of yellow fever in 1795. On 
the 19 th day of July, 1795, a ship, the Zephyr, arrived 
at New York from the West Indies. A boy in her crew 
died soon after she came into port. The health officer, 
a physician, boarded the vessel and viewed the corpse. 

226 Washington Bicentennial 

He developed the fever and died on the 29 th day of 
July. Another ship which lay at anchor near the Zephyr 
soon developed cases of fever among her crew. 

Ten years before the birth of George Washington, 
the State of Virginia passed an "Act to Oblige Ships 
Coming from Places Infected with the Plague to Per- 
form their Quarantine." 

As early as 1716 a committee was appointed by the 
legislative body of Massachusetts to select a site for an 
isolation hospital for quarantine purposes. In 1730 an 
act was passed empowering courts to adjourn and re- 
move from towns appointed by law for holding courts, 
in case of sickness by the smallpox. A year later an act 
was passed "to Prevent persons Concealing Smallpox and 
Requiring a Red Cloth to be Hung Out in all Infected 

The practice of surgery during the time of Washing- 
ton was in its early stages, and great advances have been 
made in that field as well as in the control of commu- 
nicable diseases. Blood letting and cupping were still 
popular. In fact, the records show that in the last ill- 
ness of Washington he was bled four times. 

Scurvy, which we now know to be due to a dietary 
deficiency, chiefly the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, 
was common not only among persons on prolonged sea 
voyages, but among the people in the settlements on 
land. No doubt this condition was more prevalent dur- 
ing the winter season. 

The development of water purification as a practical 
measure may be said to date from the beginning of the 
present century, and the results of its application in 
public health constitute one of the greatest public health 

News Releases 227 

achievements of the century. The history of water 
purification is clearly associated with the general prog- 
ress in sanitation and public health of the present and 
preceding centuries. Judged by our present-day stand- 
ards, the sanitary quality of the water supplies of the 
United States in Washington's time, or even as recent 
as 50 years ago was low. 

The great pestilences of Washington's time have either 
been practically eradicated from countries which have 
applied modern public health knowledge or have been 
reduced to a minimum. In addition to the elimination 
of the scourges of Colonial days, diseases which were 
undiagnosed in Washington's time have now been iden- 
tified, the source of the infection for man has been 
learned, and measures of preventing the condition have 
been made known. 

If the Father of Our Country should return to earth 
today, it may be that he would be most astounded and 
perplexed by the developments in the field of mechanics, 
because those developments would be at once the most 
obvious; but later he could not fail to be equally amazed 
at the new science of public health and at the modern 
sanitary methods and safeguards of health that are em- 
ployed in public health work and that have contributed 
so much to the health, happiness, and prosperity of our 

Medical Care of Washington's Soldiers 

How does the medical care received by George Wash- 
ington's army look to a man in the position of Maj. Gen. 
M. W. Ireland, surgeon general of the United States 
Army? It might be supposed that the ranking officer 

228 Washington Bicentennial 

in the medical service of today would look back with 
a kind of sympathetic tolerance on the methods avail- 
able to Washington's surgeons. 

Quite the contrary is true. The sympathy is there, 
but it is a sympathy of entire respect. If you ask Gen- 
eral Ireland, you will find him full of admiration for 
the manner in which the surgeons under Washington 
met the problems with the means permitted by their 

"It is well to remember," says General Ireland, as 
quoted by the Division of Information and Publica- 
tion of the United States George Washington Bicenten- 
nial Commission, "that Washington's surgeons were, for 
their day, highly trained men. They stood in the fore- 
front of their profession. Most of them had received 
the finishing touches to their education at the best 
schools of Europe. So far as the science of medicine 
was then developed, they were masters, and bore them- 
selves with credit before the difficulties they faced. 

"In those days, we must remember, the handling of 
food was primitive and without our resources in re- 
frigeration. In addition to that, what food supply the 
Revolutionary forces had was always meager. Often 
Washington's soldiers were served with food badly 
spoiled, which they were forced to eat because it was 
that or nothing. No one can read without a wrench 
of the heart of the quality of provender served to the 
patriots at Valley Forge — when the garrison had any- 
thing at all to eat! 

"Under such conditions," said General Ireland, "di- 
gestive disorders were inevitable. Washington had fre- 
quently to complain of what was then called the 

News Releases 229 

'bloody flux.' It was a term used then to cover what 
today we divide into a dozen varieties of dysentery, to- 
gether with ptomaine poisoning and appendicitis. To 
Washington's surgeons they were all phases of a single 

"At that," the General continued, "I doubt if Wash- 
ington lost a higher percentage of effectives through 
illness than were lost to the Allies during the recent war. 
If Washington had difficulties in his day, we have had 
even greater ones in ours. He also enjoyed certain ad- 
vantages. It must be remembered that Washington 
recruited his army from a race of farmers and woods- 
men, husky outdoor men, used to exposure, food short- 
ages, and every variety of hardship. The millions we 
drafted for the recent war were taken from the crowded 
and badly-ventilated conditions of office and factory. 
Against the epidemics of digestive troubles that raked 
Washington's forces, our soldiers were swept by influ- 
enza and meningitis. And I doubt if the future histo- 
rian will find us coping with these problems much better 
than Washington's surgeons handled their trials. 

"Where the modern army surgeon is in luck," said 
General Ireland, "is in the field of surgery itself. Dur- 
ing the Revolution anaesthesia was of course unknown. 
Operations were then almost as painful to the surgeon 
as they were to his patient. Many a wound that would 
be an easy problem to the modern surgeon was then 
regarded as hopeless. Yet the surgical feats success- 
fully attempted by Washington's medical corps were 
really remarkable. They accomplished much in avoid- 
ing septic poisoning. The germ theory was still many 
years in the future, yet instinct warned Washington's 

230 Washington Bicentennial 

surgeons of the dangers of toxic poisons. Their only 
defense against them was the searing iron, but it did 
its work in its crude way. And Napoleon's surgeons in 
their day also used, for the purpose of controlling 
hemorrhage, the hot oil employed by Washington's 
surgical staff. 

"All in all," General Ireland concluded, "Washing- 
ton's doctors performed a splendid job. Of course they 
had tough and excellent material to work with, but 
with backward medical science what it then was, they 
did exceedingly well in keeping the Revolutionary Army 
in a condition that would match well with the armies 
of today." — 

Soldiers Placated by Washington 

One of the most critical situations ever faced by 
George Washington, either as a citizen or a soldier, oc- 
curred a short time after the surrender of Cornwallis 
at Yorktown and, strange as it may seem, it was with 
his own army, and not that of the enemy. 

In the leisure and idleness of the winter camp at New- 
burgh, the discontents of the army had time to ferment. 
The arrears of pay became a topic of constant and angry 
comment, as well as the question, whether the resolution 
of Congress, granting half pay to officers who should 
serve to the end of the war, would be carried into effect. 
Dissatisfactions rose to a great and alarming height, and 
combinations among officers to resign at a given period 
in a body were beginning to take place. 

The outlook was so threatening that Washington, who 
had intended to go to Mount Vernon, remained in camp, 
and by management and unusual tact thwarted these 
combinations and converted these dangerous movements 

News Releases 231 

to an address to Congress from the officers, asking for 
their half -pay arrearages, and some other equally proper 
concessions. Still Congress did not stir. 

In March, 1783, a call was issued for a meeting of 
officers and an anonymous address, written with much 
skill, was circulated through the camp. The address was 
well calculated to inflame the passions of the troops; 
it advised a resort to force and there was no question 
but what the situation was full of peril. With cus- 
tomary straightforwardness, Washington took control 
of the whole movement himself. 

In general orders he censured the call and the address 
as irregular, and then appointed a time and place for 
the meeting. Another anonymous address thereupon 
appeared, quieter in tone, but congratulating the army 
on the recognition accorded by the Commander in Chief. 

When the officers assembled, Washington arose with 
a manuscript in his hand, and as he took out his glasses 
said simply: "You see, gentlemen, I have grown both 
blind and gray, in your service." 

The address was brief, calm and strong. The clear, 
vigorous sentences were charged with meaning, and with 
deep feeling. He exhorted them one and all, both of- 
ficers and men, to remain loyal and obedient, true to 
their glorious past and to their country. He appealed 
to their patriotism and promised them that which they 
had always had, his own earnest support in obtaining 
justice from Congress. 

Washington Was the Father of West Point 

Another project dear to George Washington will take 
on final form with the addition of 15,000 acres of land 

232 Washington Bicentennial 

to the reservation of the United States Military Acad- 
emy, at West Point, thus rounding out the scope of the 
school as Washington desired it to be. The dedication 
of this additional land, it has been learned by the Divi- 
sion of Information and Publication of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, has been 
most appropriately set for next year, 1932, the two hun- 
dredth anniversary of Washington's birth. 

Probably no military locality figured more often than 
West Point in Washington's mind during the War for 
Independence. He early had seen the importance of 
the Hudson River. Control of that waterway by the 
enemy would have cut the 13 warring Colonies in 
two. Command of the river by the patriots meant 
dominance of the military situation and was necessary 
to victory in the war. And West Point was the key 
position on the river. 

In full appreciation of this fact, Kosciuszko was com- 
missioned in 1778 to plan fortifications for West Point 
that would make it "the Gibraltar of the Hudson." 

Washington, however, saw in West Point a utility to 
his army beyond its immediate strategic importance. 
None knew better than the commanding general the 
scarcity of well-trained officers in his ranks, and the 
situation of West Point seems to have impressed him 
even then as a good one for the establishment of the 
needed military school. 

On Washington's recommendation, Congress ap- 
pointed a committee to draw up plans for such a school 
and in 1777 a corps of officers not able to perform field 
service was organized in Philadelphia. In 178 1 this body 
was sent to West Point "to serve as a military school for 

News Releases 233 

young gentlemen previously to their being appointed 
to marching regiments." 

Congress had thus found time to act upon Wash- 
ington's idea, and such were the beginnings of West 
Point. Three rough buildings had been erected, to house 
a library, an engineers' school, and a laboratory. Pre- 
liminary practice in gunnery also was set up. That 
Washington had in mind the future development of 
West Point is shown by the fact that at Newburgh, in 
1783, he laid before his generals further plans for a more 
extensive academy there, for artillerists, engineers, and 
cadets. But not until after the war, when he was Presi- 
dent, had he the time or the authority to give effect to 
his ideas. 

In 1794, during his administration, he recommended 
to Congress suggestions for the upbuilding of a school 
for thorough and complete military training at West 
Point. The school was not without its vicissitudes, how- 
ever. A fire destroyed what Congress had already ac- 
complished and the academy, as it then was, was wiped 
out and forgotten for six years. 

Still, Washington's idea survived, and in 1802 Presi- 
dent Jefferson took up the plan and rebuilt West Point. 
True to his own sense of the fitness of things, President 
Jefferson saw to it that July Fourth should be the date 
of reopening. On that day West Point as we know it 
today got down to its work with an enrollment of 10 
cadets. Since then nothing has impeded its work but 
cramped quarters and not always ample appropriations. 

Certainly the American people have never lacked in- 
terest in West Point. Each year it is visited by more 
persons than any other Government military undertak- 

234 Washington Bicentennial 

ing. Now the seventy-first Congress has authorized a 
move long indicated and urged, in order to carry out 
Washington's original purpose. General Washington 
had placed training in gunnery foremost in its teaching. 
At last, with 15,000 acres of additional land, the Acad- 
emy is to have this needed artillery range, and also a 
training field for aviation. And no one will question 
the fitness of opening this new and larger West Point 
during the year when the Nation pays its homage to 

Washington Grateful for Gifts to Soldiers 

General Washington was highly pleased as well as 
grateful when Mrs. Sarah Bache, daughter of Benjamin 
Franklin, and other prominent women of Philadelphia 
donated over 2,000 shirts and $300,634 in money for 
the aid of soldiers of the Continental Army. 

The Association of the Ladies of Philadelphia was 
formed in the summer of 1780 for the purpose of col- 
lecting contributions in aid of the soldiers. On July 
4 of that year Mrs. Joseph Reed, then at the head of 
the organization, but who died the following Septem- 
ber, wrote to Washington that $200,580, and £625. 6. 
8d., making the amount in paper money $300,634, had 
been collected, and requested directions how best to dis- 
pose of it. Of this sum the Marquis de Lafayette con- 
tributed 100 guineas in specie, in the name of his wife, 
and the Countess of Luzerne, $6,000 in paper money. 

On January 15, 1781, General Washington wrote the 
following letter to Mrs. Bache: 

"I should have done myself the pleasure to acknowl- 
edge the receipt of the letter you did me the favor to 

News Releases 23 5 

write on the 20th of December, at the moment of its 
receipt, had not some affairs of a very unusual nature, 
which are too recent and notorious to require explana- 
tion, engaged my whole attention. I pray you now to 
be persuaded that a sense of the patriotic exertions of 
yourself and the ladies who had furnished so handsome 
and useful a gratuity for the army at so critical and 
severe a season will not easily be effaced, and that the 
value of the donations will be greatly enhanced by the 
consideration of the hands by which it was made and 

Tories Conspired to Kidnap Washington 

"The unhappy Fate of Thomas Hickey, executed this 
day for Mutiny, Sedition and Treachery; the General 
hopes will be a warning to every Soldier, in the Army, 
to avoid those crimes and all others, so disgraceful to 
the character of a soldier and pernicious to his country, 
whose pay he receives and Bread he eats." 

The above quotation from Gen. George Washington's 
orderly book on June 28, 1776, brought to an end a 
conspiracy among the Tories in the City of New York 
and Long Island, to murder American general officers 
on the arrival of the British, and to capture General 
Washington and deliver him to Sir William Howe. 

A committee of the New York Congress, of which 
John Jay was chairman, traced the plot up to Governor 
Tryon, who, from his safe retreat on shipboard, acted 
through agents on shore. The most important of these 
was David Matthews, the Tory mayor of the city. He 
was accused of disbursing money to enlist men, pur- 
chase arms, and corrupt the soldiery. 

236 Washington Bicentennial 

Corbie's Tavern, near Washington's quarters, was a 
rendezvous of the conspiators. It was here that Gilbert 
Forbes, a gunsmith, enlisted men, gave them money, 
and "swore them on the book to secrecy." From this 
house a correspondence was kept up with Governor 
Tryon on shipboard through a "mulatto colored negro 
dressed in blue clothes." At this tavern it was supposed 
Washington's bodyguard were tampered with. Thomas 
Hickey, one of the guards, was said not only to be 
enlisted, but to have aided in corrupting his comrades. 
According to the mayor's own admission before the 
committee, he had been cognizant of attempts to enlist 
Tories and corrupt Washington's guards, though he de- 
clared that he had discountenanced them. He had, on 
one occasion, also at the request of Governor Tryon, 
paid money for him to Gilbert Forbes, the gunsmith, 
for rifles and round-bored guns which he had already 
furnished, and for others he was to make. The mayor, 
with a number of others, was detained in prison to 
await trial. Thomas Hickey, the individual of Wash- 
ington's guard, was tried before a court-martial which 
found him guilty and sentenced him to be hanged. 

The sentence was approved by Washington and 
was carried promptly into effect in the most solemn 
and impressive manner to serve as a warning and an 
example in this time of treachery and danger. On the 
morning of June 28, all the officers and men off duty 
belonging to the brigade of Heath, Spencer, Sterling, 
and Scott, assembled under arms at their respective bar- 
racks at 10 o'clock and marched to the grounds. 
Twenty men from each brigade with bayonets fixed 
guarded the prisoner to the place of execution, which 

News Releases 237 

was a field near the Bowery Lane. There he was hanged 
in the presence of almost 20,000 persons. 

Shortage of Powder 

When the Continental Army lay before Boston in 
1775 the supply of powder was so low that General 
Washington became alarmed. 

With the enemy strongly posted on what was 
practically a 14-mile front, General Washington called 
a council of war to discuss the startling fact that the 
whole stock of powder in camp was only 9,937 pounds. 

On August 4, 1775, while at Cambridge, Washington, 
in a letter to Governor Cooke, of Rhode Island, said: 

"I am now, sir, in strict confidence, to acquaint you, 
that our necessities in the articles of powder and lead 
are so great, as to require an immediate supply. I must 
earnestly entreat, you will fall upon some measures to 
forward every pound of each in the colony, which can 
possibly be spared . . . No quantity, however small, is 
beneath notice, and should any arrive, I beg it may be 
forwarded as soon as possible." 

According to Elias Boudinot, who was commissary 
general of prisoners in 1777 and President of the Con- 
tinental Congress in 1782, Washington ordered that the 
firing of the evening and morning gun be discontinued. 
In describing the situation, Boudinot wrote in part: 

"One of the committee of safety for Massachusetts, 
who was privy to the whole secret, deserted and went 
over to Gen. Gage, and discovered our poverty to him. 
The fact was so incredible that Gen. Gage treated it as 
a strategem of war, and the informant as a spy, or 
coming with the express purpose of deceiving him and 

238 Washington Bicentennial 

drawing his army into a snare, by which means we were 
saved from having our quarters beaten up. 

"We have only 184 barrels of powder in all, includ- 
ing the late supply from Philadelphia, which is not suffi- 
cient to give 25 musket cartridges to each man, and 
scarcely to serve the artillery in any brisk action one 
single day." 

Even as late as October 13, 1775, General Wash- 
ington wrote to John Augustine Washington: 

"Since finishing our own lines of defence, we, as well 
as the enemy, have been busily employed in putting our 
men under proper cover for the winter. Our advanced 
works, and theirs, are within musket-shot of each other. 
We are obliged to submit to an almost daily cannonade 
without returning a shot, from our scarcity of powder, 
which we are necessitated to keep for closer work than 
cannon-distance, whenever the red-coat gentry please 
to step out of their intrenchments." 

The situation was greatly alleviated when the Amer- 
ican schooner Lee, commanded by Capt. John Manley, 
captured the Nancy, a large British brigantine, loaded 
with ordnance and supplies for the British Army in 
Boston. This cargo made it possible to continue the 
siege and also prepared the way for the capture of 

Among other supplies of the captured vessel were 
32 tons of leaden balls, 2,000 stands of arms, 100,000 
flints, and a 1 5 -inch brass mortar. 

Washington Had Many Narrow Escapes 

From the time of his first mission to Fort Le Boeuf , 
in 1753, to the Battle of York town, which practically 

News Releases 239 

ended the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington 
had many narrow escapes from death when under fire 
from enemy guns. 

Washington's war record may be said to have fairly 
begun in 1753 when Robert Dinwiddie, then governor 
of Virginia, assigned to him the task of warning the 
French trespassers away from military posts they were 
constructing on the Ohio, which involved a hazardous 
trip through the depths of the wilderness. While suc- 
cessful in this mission, he had a miraculous escape from 
death when a traitorous Indian, who had seemed 
friendly, fired point-blank at Washington from a dis- 
tance of about a dozen yards — but missed the mark. 

The Indians believed that the "Great White Chief" 
led a charmed life, and this belief was further strength- 
ened in the Battle of the Monongahela, where Braddock 
and his army met such disastrous defeat at the hands 
of the French and Indians at Fort Duquesne, near Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 

In this battle Washington displayed incomparable 
bravery. With most of Braddock's senior officers killed 
or wounded, Washington galloped to and fro across the 
little plateau, hemmed in by ambushed ravines and a 
heavy timber growth, a shining mark for Indian bullets. 
Two horses went down to death under him; four bullets 
pierced his clothing; yet he remained unhurt. 

In describing this critical part of the battle, Dr. James 
Craik, Washington's personal friend and physician, who 
ministered to the dying General Braddock, said: 

"I expected any moment to see Washington fall; his 
duty and situation exposed him to every danger. Noth- 

240 Washington Bicentennial 

ing but the superintending care of Providence could 
have saved him from the fate of all around him." 

Washington also had many narrow escapes while 
under fire at Princeton, Monmouth, Yorktown, and 
when ambushed at Brandy wine. According to Joseph 
Dillaway Sawyer's "Book on Washington," a bullet 
passed between his fingers at the Battle of Trenton. 

At the Battle of Princeton, Washington rode his horse 
at full speed between the lines in the heavy crossfire 
from both armies, ordering his men to charge. Colonel 
Fitzgerald, his aide on the field, covered his eyes that 
he might not see what he believed to the inevitable end 
of his heroic chief. But Washington, dauntless and 
resolute, rode unscathed along the line, while his falter- 
ing troops, electrified by his act, forgot their panic, 
plunged back into the fight with renewed ardor — and 

Washington's recklessness in times of peril was a 
source of uneasiness to his fellow officers — even to Con- 
gress, which received long-distance tidings of it now and 
again — but to Washington himself it was nothing. He 
gave no thought at any time to heroics; and his valorous 
action at Princeton was "all in a day's work." 

At Brandywine Washington had a narrow escape 
from being shot from ambush. Reconnoitering the 
enemy lines, with only one cavalryman in attendance, 
his tall figure caught the eye of Major Ferguson, of the 
Forty-third English Foot. Ferguson, seeing a Conti- 
nental officer riding by with an attendant, ordered three 
sharpshooters under cover to fire; but suddenly realiz- 
ing the enormity of killing a fellow white man — and 
an officer — from ambush* after the stealthy Indian 

News Releases 241 

method, cancelled the order before the men could obey. 
Not until several days afterward, so the story runs, did 
Major Ferguson learn that it was the rebel chieftain 
whose life he had humanly spared. 

One escape is recorded at Trenton as a bullet struck 
the hilt of his uplifted sword, just missing his fingers, 
as he ordered his men to charge. 

During the assault on Yorktown, Washington stood 
in an embrasure of the grand battery, watching the ad- 
vance of his men. As usual when fighting was going 
on, he exposed himself recklessly. Here he was so much 
exposed to the enemy's fire that one of his aides, anxious 
and disturbed for his safety, told him that the place was 
perilous. "If you think so," was the quiet answer, "you 
are at liberty to step back." The old fighting spirit of 
Braddock's field was again unchained. He would have 
liked to head the American assault, sword in hand, and 
as he could not do so he stood as near to his troops as 
he could, utterly regardless of the bullets whistling in 
the air about him. He could have no thought of danger 
then, and when all was over he turned to General Knox 
and said: "The work is done, and well done. Bring me 

my horse." 

&& - ®s&» :-:-•'•"":: -* — 

Washington's Victories Master Strokes 

George Washington's victories, as Commander in 
Chief of the Revolutionary armies, were outstanding 
master strokes. A study of them will show that they 
were not a matter of luck, but, on the contrary, dis- 
play generalship of the first order. 

Washington's mastery of the "element of surprise" 
was remarkable, and every time he put his forces in ac- 

242 Washington Bicentennial 

tion he stressed the importance to the officers under his 
command of rapidity of execution, pointing out that it 
was a most important factor in war. 

One of the greatest and most spectacular exploits of 
his military career took place on Christmas, 1776, when 
he wrested a victory from the forces of Great Britain 
at Trenton, N. J. In a few short hours George Wash- 
ington lifted the spirits of his countrymen from the 
despair in which they had been plunged by a series of 
defeats and reverses, and sent fresh hopes and courage to 
the entire country. 

Frederick the Great is reported to have said that the 
battles in Jersey marked the most brilliant campaign 
of the century. Many historians now maintain that this 
was the decisive moment of the war; and it was because 
of the determined and fighting temper of Washington 
that the tide was turned in the darkest hour and the 
cause of the Revolution was saved. To the observant 
and trained eyes of Europe, even the defeat at German- 
town made it evident that there was fighting material 
among the untrained colonists, and that there were be- 
sides a powerful will and directing mind, capable on its 
part in bringing this same material into the required 
shape and condition. That mind was Washington's. 

When General Braddock arrived in Virginia, Wash- 
ington wrote him a diplomatically worded letter and 
was soon made a member of the staff with the rank of 
colonel. His personal relations with Braddock were 
friendly throughout, and in the calamitous defeat Wash- 
ington showed that fiery energy which always lay hidden 
behind his calm and unruffled exterior. He ranged the 
whole field on horseback, making himself the most con- 

News Releases 243 

spicuous target for enemy bullets; and, in spite of what 
he called the "dastardly behavior" of the regular troops, 
he saved the expedition from annihilation and brought 
the remnant of his Virginians out of action in good 
order. In spite of his reckless exposure, he was one of 
the few unwounded officers. 

In August, after his return, he was commissioned 
commander of the Virginia forces, being then only 23 
years old. For about two years his task was that of "de- 
fending a frontier of more than 350 miles with but 
700 men." 

In the winter of 1757 his health broke down, but 
in the next year he had the pleasure of commanding 
the advance guard of the expedition under Gen. John 
Forbes, which captured Fort Duquesne, renaming it Fort 
Pitt. At the end of the year he resigned his commis- 
sion, the war in Virginia being at an end. 

So closed the first period in Washington's public 
career. It showed him an adventurous pioneer, a reck- 
less frontier fighter, and a soldier of great promise. He 
learned many things at this time, and was taught much 
in the hard school of adversity. 

He was commissioned Commander in Chief of the 
Revolutionary Armies on June 17, 1775, and set out at 
once for Cambridge, Mass., where, on July 3, he as- 
sumed command of the levies assembled there for action 
against the British garrison in Boston. The Battle of 
Bunker Hill had already taken place, news of it reaching 
Washington on his way North. 

Until the following March his work was to bring 
about some semblance of military organization and dis- 
cipline, to collect ammunition and military stores, to 

244 Washington Bicentennial 

correspond with Congress and the colonial authorities, 
to guide military operations in widely settled parts of 
the country, to create a military system for a people 
entirely unaccustomed to such a thing, and impatient 
and suspicious under it, and to bend the course of events 
steadily towards driving the British out of Boston. 

"Washington's retreat through the Jerseys, the manner 
in which he turned and struck his pursuers at Trenton 
and Princeton, and then established himself at Morris- 
town, so as to make the way to Philadelphia impassable; 
the vigor with which he handled his army at Brandy- 
wine and Germantown, the persistence with which he 
held the strategic position at Valley Forge through the 
dreadful winter of 1777-78, in spite of the misery of 
his men, the clamors of the people, and the impotence 
and meddling of the fugitive Congress — all went to 
show that the fiber of his public character had been 
hardened to its permanent quality. 

The prompt and vigorous pursuit of Sir Henry 
Clinton across Jersey towards New York, and the Battle 
of Monmouth, in which the plan of battle was thwarted 
by Charles Lee, closed the military record of Wash- 
ington, so far as active campaigning was concerned, 
until the end of the war. The British confined their 
operations to other parts of the continent, and Wash- 
ington, alive as ever to the importance of keeping up 
connections with New England, devoted himself to 
watching the British in and about New York City. 

It was in every way fitting, however, that Wash- 
ington, who had been the mainspring of the war from 
the beginning and had borne far more than his share 
q£ its burdens and discouragements, should end it with 

News Releases 245 

the campaign of Yorktown, conceived by himself, with 
the surrender of Cornwallis in October, 1781. 

Washington Indignant at Suggestion He Become 


A remarkable episode of the Revolution, which Gen- 
eral Washington looked upon with surprise and aston- 
ishment, took place shortly after the Battle of York- 

It was while the Commander in Chief of the Conti- 
nental Armies was at Newburgh that the astonishing 
suggestion was made to him that a monarchial form 
of government be established in the Colonies, with 
Washington assuming the title of king. This startling 
proposal was submitted to General Washington in a let- 
ter written by Col. Lewis Nicola, a veteran officer, once 
commandant of Fort Mifflin, and an intimate friend 
of the Commander in Chief. 

The letter was written at the height of the discontent 
prevailing in the Army at that time, both among of- 
ficers and men. The neglect of the States to furnish 
their proportions of the sum voted by Congress for the 
prosecution of the war had left the Army almost desti- 
tute. There was scarce money sufficient to feed the 
troops from day to day; indeed, there were days when 
they were absolutely in want of provisions. The pay 
of the officers, too, was greatly in arrears; many of them 
doubted whether they would ever receive the half pay 
decreed to them by Congress for a term of years after 
the conclusion of the war, and fears began to be ex- 
pressed that, in the event of peace, they would all be 
disbanded with their claims unliquidated, and them- 

246 Washington Bicentennial 

selves cast upon the community penniless and unfitted, 
by long military habits, for the gainful pursuits of peace. 

Underlying the general discontent there was a well- 
defined movement, which saw a solution of all diffi- 
culties, and a redress of all wrongs in a radical change 
in the form of government, and in the elevation of 
Washington to supreme power. This party was satisfied 
that the existing form of government was a failure, 
and that it was not, and could not, be made either 
strong, honest, or respectable. The obvious relief was 
in some kind of monarchy, with a large infusion of 
one-man power, and it followed as a matter of course 
that the one man would be the Commander in Chief. 

Colonel Nicola's letter was forcible and well written. 
He condemned a republican form of government as in- 
compatible with national prosperity and advised a 
mixed government like that of England. He set forth 
very clearly the failure and shortcomings of the 
existing government. 

Washington realized that Colonel Nicola was a man 
of character and standing, and that his letter could not 
be passed over lightly or in silence. He saw that 
Nicola was but the organ of a military faction, disposed 
to make the army the basis of an energetic government 
and to place him at the head. The suggestion, backed 
by the opportunity, might have tempted a man of 
selfish ambition, but from Washington it drew the 
following indignant letter: 

"With a mixture of great surprise and astonishment, 
I have read with attention the sentiments you have 
submitted to my perusal. Be assured, Sir, no occur- 
rence in the course of the war has given me more painful 

News Releases 247 

sensations, than your information of there being such 
ideas existing in the army, as you have expressed, and 
I must view with abhorrence and reprehend with 
severity. For the present the communicatn. of them 
will rest in my own bosom, unless some further agitation 
of the matter shall make a disclosure necessary. 

"I am much at a loss to conceive what part of my 
conduct could have given encouragement to an address, 
which to me seems big with the greatest mischiefs that 
can befall my Country. If I am not deceived in the 
knowledge of myself, you could not have found a per- 
son to whom your schemes are more disagreeable. 
At the same time, in justice to my own feelings, 
I must add, that no man possesses a more sin- 
cere wish to see ample justice done to the army than 
I do; and, as far as my powers and influence, in a con- 
stitutional way, extend, they shall be employed to the 
utmost of my abilities to effect it, should there be any 
occasion. Let me conjure you, then, as you have any 
regard for your Country, concern for yourself or pos- 
terity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts 
from your mind, and never communicate, as from your- 
self or anyone else, a sentiment of the like nature." 

Famous Speech 

In this famous speech, which went down into history 
as Washington's Newburgh address, the Commander in 
Chief, in part, said: 

"If my conduct heretofore has not evinced to you, 
that I have been a faithful friend to the army, my decla- 
ration of it at this time would be equally unavailing and 

248 Washington Bicentennial 

improper. But, as I was among the first, who embarked 
in the cause of our common country; as I have never left 
your side one moment, but when called from you on 
public duty; as I have been a constant companion and 
witness of your distresses, and not among the last to feel 
and acknowledge your merits; as I have ever considered 
my own military reputation as inseparably connected 
with that of the army; as my heart has ever expanded 
with joy, when I have heard its praises, and my indigna- 
tion has arisen, when the mouth of detraction has been 
opened against it; it can scarcely be supposed, at this 
late stage of the war, that I am indifferent to its in- 
terests." . . . 

"While I give you these assurances," he observed in 
another part of his address, "let me entreat you, Gentle- 
men, on your part, not to take any measures, which, 
viewed in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity 
and sully the glory you have hitherto maintained. Let 
me request you to rely on the plighted faith of your 
country, and place a full confidence in the purity of 
the intentions of Congress, that, previous to your dis- 
solution as an army, that they will cause all your ac- 
counts to be fairly liquidated, as directed in their resolu- 
tions, which were published to you two days ago, and 
that they will adopt the most effectual measures in their 
power to render ample justice to you for your faithful 
and meritorious services. And let me conjure you in the 
name of our common country, as you value your sacred 
honor, as you respect the rights of humanity, and as you 
regard the military and national character of America, 
to express your utmost horror and detestation of the 
man, who wishes, under any specious pretences, to over- 

News Releases 249 

turn the liberties of our country, and who wickedly 
attempts to open the flood-gates of civil discord, and 
deluge our rising empire in blood." . . . 

When he had finished he quietly withdrew. The of- 
ficers were deeply moved by his words, and his influence 
prevailed. Resolutions were passed, reiterating the de- 
mands of the army, but professing entire faith in the 
Government. This time Congress listened, and the 
measures granting half pay in commutation, and certain 
other requests were passed. Thus this very serious dan- 
ger was averted, not by the reluctant act of Congress, 
but by the wisdom and strength of the General who was 
loved by his soldiers after a fashion that few conquerors 
could boast. 

When the Revolution Ended 

The cessation of hostilities between the United States 
and Great Britain was proclaimed April 19, 1783, to 
the soldiers of the Continental Army by order of Gen. 
George Washington in headquarters at Newburgh. 
Congress had issued, a few days before, the official notifi- 
cation that the Revolutionary War was at an end. 

The one hundred and forty-eighth anniversary of 
Washington's proclamation is noted by the Division of 
Information and Publication of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission in a statement 
recalling the event. 

The Revolution had practically ended with the 
surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in October, 
1781. It was generally realized throughout the two 
countries that there would be no more extensive cam- 
paigns, but both armies were retained under arms. A 

250 Washington Bicentennial 

few skirmishes took place in 1782, occurring for the 
most part between foraging or scouting parties. 

In one of these minor fights in August some British 
soldiers at Saint James Island, S. C, were defeated by 
Captain Wilmott. At Fort Wheeling, Va., in the fol- 
lowing month, the last skirmish of the war was fought. 
It also was a victory for the Americans. 

While there was little to be gained by either side from 
this kind of fighting, it was an inevitable result of the 
proximity of armed men representing the two nations. 
It was unavoidable as long as Britain and the United 
States were officially at war. 

Despite this fact, Washington vigorously opposed 
any reduction in the army until the conclusion of peace. 
No one realized the cost of victory better than the man 
who had led America's armies throughout the war. He 
was unwilling that the fruits of victory should be lost 
by a relaxation of vigilance which might encourage the 
British ministry to continue the conflict. 

Washington's feelings on receiving official notice that 
hostilities were at an end may be seen in his proclamation 
at Newburgh. Preliminary articles of peace had been 
signed at Paris in November and January, and it was 
beginning to be apparent that the permanent treaty 
would be based on these stipulations. With consider- 
able relief, therefore, General Washington issued the 
following order: 

"The Commander-in-chief orders the cessation of 
hostilities, between the United States and the King 
of Great Britain, to be publicly proclaimed tomor- 
row at twelve at the New Building; and that the Proc- 
lamation, which will be communicated herewith, be 

News Releases 251 

read to-morrow evening at the head of every regiment 
and corps of the army; after which the Chaplains with 
the several brigades will render thanks to Almighty 
God for all His mercies, particularly for His overruling 
the wrath of man to His glory, and causing the rage 
of war to cease among the nations. . . . 

"On such a happy day, which is the harbinger of 
peace, a day which completes the eighth year of the war, 
it would be ingratitude not to rejoice, it would be in- 
sensibility not to participate, in the general felicity. . . . 

"Happy, thrice happy, shall they be pronounced 
hereafter, who have contributed anything, who have 
performed the meanest office in erecting this stupendous 
fabric of freedom and empire on the broad basis of in- 
dependency, who have assisted in protecting the rights 
of human nature, and establishing an asylum for the 
poor and oppressed of all nations and religions." 

When the British Left New York 

It was a gala day for the people of New York City 
when, on Tuesday afternoon, November 25, 1783, Sir 
Guy Carleton and the British troops embarked from 
that place to end an occupation of more than seven 
years. As Gen. George Washington rode into the city 
at the head of a great procession on that memorable 
occasion his heart must have swelled with happiness at 
the realization that his task had now reached its glorious 
conclusion. From the time that the preliminary articles 
of peace were signed in Paris several months before, 
Washington had been waiting for Carleton to leave New 

As the Redcoats left their post in the Bowery, the 

252 Washington Bicentennial 

Americans, who had marched from Harlem, continued 
on their way into the city. After the troops had taken 
possession of the army posts, General Washington and 
Governor Clinton rode into the metropolis at the head 
of an imposing cavalcade composed of military and civil 
authorities. In addition to the officials there were in 
the parade a number of American citizens who had been 
exiled from their homes in New York by reason of the 
British occupation. These people were now returning 
to repossess their property, and certainly none could 
have been more happy on this occasion than they. 

The newspapers of that day have described the Ameri- 
can repossession of New York in colorful terms. Ac- 
cording to an item in the Pennsylvania Packet, the tri- 
umphal possession was marshalled in gallant array, with 
General Washington and Governor Clinton and their 
suites at the head on horseback. Then followed the 
lieutenant governor and members of the council riding 
four abreast. Following these dignitaries was Major 
General Knox and the officers of the army, who rode 
eight abreast. The Packet notes further that "The pro- 
cession proceeded down Queen Street, and through the 
Broad-way to Cape's Tavern. The governor gave a 
public dinner at Fraunce's Tavern, at which the com- 
mander-in-chief and other general officers were pres- 

The celebration continued several days, and numerous 
banquets were given — one of them by Governor Clinton 
in honor of Luzerne, the French Ambassador to the 
United States. The Remembrancer, a New York jour- 
nal, records that "On Friday (Nov. 28) at Cape's Tav- 
ern, the Citizens, who have lately returned from exile, 

News Releases 253 

gave an elegant Entertainment to his Excellency the 
Governor, and the Council for governing the city; his 
Excellency General Washington, and the officers of the 
Army; about three hundred Gentlemen graced the 

Washington's Memorable Farewell 

One of the most touching and picturesque events in 
the life of George Washington as Commander in Chief 
of the Continental Army, took place 148 years ago. 

It was on December 4, 1783, that General Washing- 
ton, with tears in his eyes, and a choke in his voice, bade 
farewell to his officers and comrades-in-arms in the fa- 
mous Fraunce's Tavern, which still stands at the lower 
end of Manhattan, in New York City, before going to 
Annapolis, where Congress was then in session, to lay 
down his commission. 

With the evacuation of New York by the British on 
November 25, of that year, General Washington real- 
ized that his military duties were about to terminate. 
All was over now, and he could retire to Mount Vernon 
to reap the rewards of the peace and quiet to which he 
had always looked forward with joyful anticipation. 

In a long, low-ceilinged room in Fraunce's Tavern, 
his officers assembled to bid him farewell. As he looked 
about on his faithful friends his usual self-command 
and calm dignity deserted him, and he could not con- 
trol his voice. 

With glass in hand, he said simply: "With a heart full 
of love and gratitude, I now take my leave of you, most 
devoutly wishing that your latter days may be as pros- 
perous and happy as your former ones have been glori- 

254 Washington Bicentennial 

ous and honorable." The toast was drunk in silence, 
and then General Washington added, "I can not come 
to each of you and take my leave, but shall be obliged 
if you will come and take me by the hand." His dear 
friend Gen. Henry Knox, being nearest, turned to him. 
Washington, incapable of utterance, grasped his hand 
and embraced him. In the same affectionate manner 
he took leave of each succeeding officer. 

Leaving the room, he passed the corps of light infan- 
try, accompanied by his officers, walked to White Hall, 
where a barge waited to convey him to Paulus Hook. 

Entering the barge, the word was given, and as the 
oars struck the water he stood up and lifted his hat. In 
solemn silence his officers returned the salute, and 
watched the noble and gracious figure of their beloved 
chief until the boat disappeared from sight behind the 
point of the battery. 

An interesting article, describing Washington's fare- 
well to his officers was published in Rivington's New 
York Gazette, in its issue of December 6, 1783, which 
follows in full: 

"At New York: Last Thursday noon (December 4) 
the principal officers of the army in town assembled at 
Fraunce's Tavern to take final leave of their illustrious, 
gracious and much loved commander, General Wash- 
ington. The passions of human nature were never more 
tenderly agitated than in this interesting and distressful 
scene. His excellency having filled a glass thus addressed 
his brave fellow-soldiers: 

" 'With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take 
leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter 

News Releases 255 

days may be as prosperous and happy as your former 
ones have been glorious and honorable.' 

"These words produced extreme sensibility on both 
sides; they were answered by warm expressions, and 
fervent wishes, from the gentlemen of the army, whose 
truly pathetic feelings it is not in our power to convey 
to the reader. Soon after this scene was closed, his ex- 
cellency the Governor, the honorable the Council and 
citizens of the first distinction waited on the general and 
in terms the most affectionate, took their leave. 

"The corps of light infantry was drawn up in a line, 
the commander-in-chief, about two o'clock passed 
through them on his. way to Whitehall, where he em- 
barked in his barge for Powles Hook, (Jersey City) . 
He is attended by General le baron de Steuben; pro- 
poses to make a short stay at Philadelphia; will thence 
proceed to Annapolis, where he will resign his Commis- 
sion as General of the American armies, into the hands 
of the Continental Congress, from whom it was de- 
rived, immediately after which his excellency will set 
out for his seat, named Mount Vernon, in Virginia, 
emulating the example of his model, the virtuous Roman 
general, who, victorious, left the tented field, covered 
with honors, and withdrew from public life, in otium 
cum dignitate." 

George Washington Resigns Commission 

Gen. George Washington's surrender of his com- 
mission as Commander in Chief of the Continental 
Army on December 23, 1783, to Congress, which was 
then sitting at Annapolis, Md., was one of the memo- 
rable scenes connected with the Revolutionary War. 

256 Washington Bicentennial 

Washington had left New York City on December 4, 
after bidding farewell to his officers at the famous 
Fraunce's Tavern in that city. As he approached the 
city of Annapolis, his coming was announced by the 
discharge of cannon, the ringing of bells, and the cheers 
of the inhabitants. 

He arrived at Annapolis on December 19, and was 
met on the outskirts of the city by Generals Gates and 
Smallwood, accompanied by leading citizens of the town. 
On the following day he dined with the President of 
the Congress, Gen. Thomas Mifflin, in company with 
members of that body and the principal military and 
civil officers of the State. On December 22 Congress 
tendered General Washington a public dinner, followed 
by a ball at the State House. 

The following day, December 23, 1783, George 
Washington appeared in the congressional chamber and, 
being seated, General Mifflin informed him that the 
United States, in Congress assembled, were prepared 
to receive his communication. General Washington 
arose and said, in part: 

"Mr. President: The great events upon which my 
resignation depended, having at length taken place, I 
have now the honor of offering sincere congratulations 
to Congress, and of presenting myself before them, to 
surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, 
and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service 
of my country." 

In this characteristically simple fashion did George 
Washington lay down the reins of authority. These 
few, simple lines marked the termination of eight and 
a half years of devoted and unselfish service unsur- 

News Releases 257 

passed in the history of the world. The storm and 
stress of military campaigning was over. Victory and 
independence had been won. The leader's task had 
been successfully carried out. 

Following the ceremonies at the State Capitol, 
General Washington departed for Mount Vernon, 
where he arrived on Christmas eve. It is not hard to 
imagine with what satisfaction and gratitude he, to 
whom home was the dearest place in the world, re- 
turned to Mount Vernon, which he had seen only once 
since the beginning of the Revolution more than eight 
years before. 

It must have been with a deep sigh of relief that he 
sat down once again by his own fireside, for all through 
the war the one longing that never left his mind was 
for the banks of the Potomac. He liked its quiet oc- 
cupations and wholesome sports, and the open-air 
existence. He felt that he had earned his rest and all 
the temperate pleasures and enjoyments that came with 
it, and he fondly believed that he was about to renew 
the habits which he had abandoned to become Com- 
mander of the Continental Army. Four days after his 
return he wrote to Governor Clinton, of New York: 
"The scene is at last closed. I feel myself eased of a 
load of public care. I hope to spend the remainder of 
my days in cultivating the affections of good men and 
in the practice of domestic virtues." 

Into the old life of the proprietor of a large estate he 
threw himself with zest and thankfulness, more than 
happy to straighten out the affairs of the estate, much 
disordered by his absence. In the midst of these em- 
ployments, too, he attended closely to his domestic 

258 Washington Bicentennial 

duties. At frequent intervals he journeyed to Fred- 
ericksburg to visit his mother, to whom he was always 
a dutiful and affectionate son. He watched over Mrs. 
Martha Washington's grandchildren, and two or three 
nephews of his own, whose education he had under- 
taken, with all the solicitude of a father, and at the 
expense of much thought and time. 

However, with all his longing for repose and privacy, 
General Washington could not separate himself from 
the great problems which he had solved, or from the 
solution of the still greater problems, which he, more 
than any other man, had brought into existence. The 
new Nation needed the counsel and service of George 
Washington too much to allow him to remain in re- 
tirement. After only three and a half years of blissful 
happiness at Mount Vernon the country again called 
George Washington to preside at the Constitutional 
Convention at Philadelphia. And shortly after the 
electors unanimously chose him to be the first President 
of the United States. Thus began eight more years of 
arduous labor and intense devotion to his country. 

When Washington Became President 

When the people of the United States turned to 
George Washington with the universal demand that he 
stand at the head of the new Government and fill the 
great office of first President of the Republic, he evi- 
denced the same diffidence which weighed upon him 
when he took command of the armies. 

In response to the suggestion that he be a candidate, 
he recognized the fact that he was likely to be again 
called upon to render public service, and added simply 

News Releases 259 

that at his age it would involve a sacrifice which ad- 
mitted of no compensation. He maintained this tone 
whenever he alluded to the subject in replying to 
numerous letters urging him to accept. But, although 
he declined to announce any decision, he had resigned 
himself to the inevitable. 

Washington made it clear that he was not pursuing 
the office, and would only leave his farm to take it from 
a sense of duty. The electoral college gave him its 
unanimous vote on February 4, 1789. Neither the 
animosity of parties, nor the large number of enemies 
of the new Government in some of the States could 
deprive him of a single vote. 

The reluctance with which General Washington 
assumed his new position and that genuine modesty 
which was a distinguished feature of his character, are 
further illustrated by the following extract from a 
letter to Gen. Henry Knox: "I feel for those members 
of the new Congress, who hitherto have given an un- 
availing attendance at the theater of action. For my- 
self the delay may be compared to a reprieve; for in 
confidence I tell you, (with the world it would obtain 
little credit,) that my movements to the chair of gov- 
ernment will be accompanied by feelings not unlike 
those of a culprit, who is going to the place of his execu- 
tion; so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly 
consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for 
an ocean of difficulties, without that competency of 
political skill, abilities, and inclination, which are nec- 
essary to manage the helm. I am sensible that I am 
embarking, the voice of the people, and a good name 
of my own, on this voyage; but what returns will 

260 "Washington Bicentennial 

be made for them, Heaven alone can foretell. Integrity 
and firmness are all I can promise. These, be the 
voyage long or short, shall never forsake me, although 
I may be deserted by all men; for of the consolations, 
which are to be derived from these, under any circum- 
stances, the world can not deprive me." 

The official announcement of his election as Chief 
Magistrate of the United States was made to him at 
Mount Vernon on April 14, 1789, by Charles Thomson, 
the secretary of the Continental Congress. Accus- 
tomed to respect the wishes of his fellow citizens, 
Washington did not think himself at liberty to decline 
an appointment conferred upon him by the suffrage of 
an entire people. His acceptance of it, and his expres- 
sion of gratitude for this fresh proof of the esteem and 
confidence of his country were connected with declara- 
tions of diffidence in himself. 

"I wish," he said, "that there may not be reason for 
regretting the choice; for, indeed, all I can promise is 
only to accomplish that, which can be done by an honest 

As the public business required the immediate 
attendance of the President at the seat of the Govern- 
ment, he hastened his departure, and on the second day 
after receiving notice of his election, he took leave of 
Mount Vernon. In an entry in his diary, the feelings 
inspired by an occasion so affecting to his mind are thus 
described: "About ten o'clock I bade adieu to Mount 
Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity, and 
with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful 
sensations than I have words to express, set out for New 
York in company with Mr. Thompson and Colo. Hum- 

News Releases 261 

phreys, with the best disposition to render service to my 
country in obedience to its calls, but with less hope of 
answering its expectations." 

On his journey from Alexandria to New York 
Washington was everywhere received with the greatest 
demonstrations of affection by all classes of his fellow 
citizens, which were manifested by the most flattering 
marks of heartfelt respect and by addresses which 
evinced the unlimited confidence reposed in his virtues 
and his ability. 

At Philadelphia he was received with unusual 
splendor. In imitation of the triumphal exhibitions of 
ancient Rome an arch was erected at the bridge over 
the Schuylkill River, and on each side was placed laurel 
shrubbery. As Washington passed under the arch, a 
civic crown was let down upon him. The fields and 
avenues were crowded with people, through whom he 
was conducted into the city by a body of leading 
citizens. At night the town was illuminated. 

The next day, at Trenton, he was welcomed in a 
manner as new as it was pleasing. In addition to the 
usual discharge of cannon and the demonstrations of 
respect and attachment by military corps, and by pri- 
vate persons of distinction, the women of the city ar- 
ranged a tribute indicative of gratitude for their deliv- 
erance 12 years before from a formidable enemy. On 
a bridge over the creek which passes through the town 
was a triumphal arch, decorated with laurel and flowers 
and supported by 13 pillars. On the front of this arch 
was inscribed in large gilt letters, "December 26, 1776," 
and beneath, formed in the flowers, "The defender of 
the mothers will be the protector of the daughters." 

262 Washington Bicentennial 

As Washington passed under the arch he was met by 
a party of matrons leading their daughters, dressed in 
white, who carried baskets of flowers in their hands 
and sang an ode composed for the occasion. At Bruns- 
wick he was joined by the governor of New Jersey, 
who accompanied him to Elizabethtown Point. A com- 
mittee of Congress received him on the road and con- 
ducted him with a military parade to the point, where 
he embarked for New York in an elegant 13 -oar barge, 
prepared for the purpose by the citizens of New York, 
and manned by 13 pilots. 

"The display of boats," said Washington in his private 
journal, "which was attended and joined on this occa- 
sion, some with vocal, and others with instrumental 
music on board, the decorations of the ships, the roar of 
the cannon, and the loud acclamations of the people, 
which rent the sky as I passed along the wharves, filled 
my mind with sensations as painful (contemplating the 
reverse of this scene, which may be the case after all my 
labors to do good) as they were pleasing." 

At the stairs of Murray's Wharf, which had been 
prepared and decorated for the purpose, he was received 
by the governor of New York, and was conducted, with 
military honors, through an immense concourse of 
people, to the apartments prepared for him. Wash- 
ington arrived in New York on April 23 and on the 
30th the constitutional Government of the United 
States began with his inauguration as the first President. 

Washington's Last Visit to His Mother 
When George Washington was elected the first Presi- 
dent of the United States, one of the last things he did 

News Releases 263 

before leaving for his inauguration in New York City 
was to visit his mother at her home in Fredericksburg. 
This was an indication of the filial devotion which 
Washington always exhibited, and had its foundation in 
his respect and love for the woman to whom he owed 
so much. Mary Washington gave to her children the 
best of training, and to these early teachings may be 
traced much of the firmness of character which was 
later shown by the Commander in Chief of the Ameri- 
can Armies and the Nation's greatest leader. 

As a boy, Washington was anxious to enter the 
British Navy. His aspirations were viewed with favor 
by his elder brother Lawrence, and an appointment was 
procured for him. Mrs. Washington frowned upon 
the project, but reluctantly gave her consent when the 
boys persisted. It is said that George's chest had been 
placed on a boat in the Potomac, and the boy was all 
ready to follow, when his mother received a letter 
from her brother in England which discouraged a 
career in the navy or in the merchant service. That 
settled the matter as far as Mrs. Washington was con- 
cerned, and she requested her son to have his things 
brought off the boat. It was a serious blow to the lad's 
hopes, but he complied with his mother's wishes. 

Mary Washington is represented as being an austere 
woman, whose attitude was somewhat awe-inspiring 
to the children. She was deeply religious, and during 
the years before her own children were placed in school 
she saw to it that they received proper training. George 
must have inherited some of her character, for through- 
out his life he manifested the same repression which 
characterized his mother. 

264 Washington Bicentennial 

The mother of Washington was known for her 
aversion to a demonstration of deep emotion, and her 
illustrious son was of the same temperament. Accord- 
ing to one story, Washington was sitting for a portrait 
when despatches were hurriedly handed to him. He 
merely glanced at them and went ahead with the busi- 
ness of the moment. The letter contained news of the 
capture of Burgoyne. 

An anecdote similar to the one above has it that a 
messenger rode at top speed for some distance to deliver 
a letter from Washington to his mother in the latter 
part of the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Washington was 
found in her garden busily at work among her vege- 
tables. She interrupted her work long enough to take 
the letter, but made no move to open it. The rider 
waited until his impatience caused him to exclaim, 
"Madam, this whole community is interested in that 
letter." At that, she opened the letter which proved to 
be an announcement of a recent victory; but all the 
news she gave the messenger was the remark, "George 
generally carries through anything he undertakes." 

Tradition has it that Mary Washington could think 
of George only as "her boy." On one occasion her 
servant is supposed to have told her that "Mars George" 
had put up at the tavern. This so displeased his mother 
that she at once exclaimed, "Go and tell George to come 
here instantly!" In a few moments the general ap- 
peared, somewhat abashed, and explained that he could 
not feel sure that his stay with her would prove 

Mrs. Washington has been thought by some to have 
been a Tory because of her frequent plaints regarding 

News Releases 265 

the Revolution. Her petulant outbursts, however, were 
due to the fact that she disliked George's neglect of his 
own affairs, which was occasioned by the war. She had 
never approved of his militaristic predilections and had 
ever sought to dissuade him from entering the army. As 
one writer has pointed out, the spirit which animated 
her utterances was Washington's best inheritance from 
his mother. "It is a fine omen on the world's horizon 
that its great commander was a man of peace." 

Although Washington urged his mother to come and 
live at Mount Vernon, she persisted in her desire to re- 
main at her home in Fredericksburg. Washington 
visited her there whenever it was possible for him to do 
so, and he saw to it that she was supplied with whatever 
she needed. At the time of Washington's election to 
the Presidency, his mother was suffering from a disease 
from which it was realized she could never recover. 
Knowing that it would be a long time before he could 
see her again under any circumstances, he was desirous 
of visiting her before taking up his residence in New 

On March 7, 1789, Washington was in Fredericks- 
burg with his mother. He knew that she would rejoice 
in the honor which had been conferred on her son, and 
with his characteristic respect for her feelings he called 
on her before assuming his position as the executive 
of the Nation. 

This was the last time Washington saw his mother, 
for the following summer she succumbed to the ravages 
of the disease from which she had been suffering for so 
long. Her death occurred on August 25, and Wash- 
ington mourned in her death the loss of one whose 

266 Washington Bicentennial 

teachings, example, and encouragement had contributed 
so much to his success. 

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation 

Few Americans know that the original Presidential 
Thanksgiving Proclamation was lost for over a hundred 
years; that it was found at an auction sale in 1921; that 
it was bought by the Library of Congress for $300.00; 
and that it now reposes in the archives of that institu- 
tion — one of the most valuable documents in the world. 

On September 25, 1789, Elias Boudinot introduced 
the following resolution in the House of Representa- 

"Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses 
be directed to wait upon the President of the United 
States, to request that he would recommend to the 
people of the United States a day of public Thanksgiv- 
ing and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with 
grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty 
God, especially by affording them an opportunity to es- 
tablish a Constitution of government for their safety 
and happiness." 

Harmless as this resolution seems, there were objec- 
tions to it. In reading the Annals of Congress of that 
period, we find that Representative Aedanus Burke, of 
South Carolina, thought we should not mimic Europe 
"where they made a mere mockery of thanksgiving." 

Representative Thomas Tudor Tucker, also of South 
Carolina, argued that it was not the business of Con- 
gress to ask for a national day of Thanksgiving. 

"They (the people) may not be inclined to return 

News Releases 267 

thanks for a Constitution until they have experienced 
that it promotes their safety and happiness." 

These objections, however, were overruled; the reso- 
lution was passed and sent to the Senate for concurrence. 
The Senate approved and appointed its committee to 
wait on the President. The joint committee was made 
up of Ralph Izard, of South Carolina, and William S. 
Johnson, of Connecticut, from the Senate; Elias Bou- 
dinot, of New Jersey, Roger Sherman, of Connecticut, 
and Peter Sylvester, of New York, from the House. 

Washington complied with the request and on Octo- 
ber 3, 1789, issued his proclamation, calling for a Na- 
tional day of Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26. 

And then the document dropped out of sight. It 
apparently was misplaced or attached to some private 
papers in the process of moving official records from one 
city to another when the Capital was changed. How- 
ever it happened, the original manuscript was not in 
the official archives until 1921, when Dr. J. C. Fitz- 
patrick, then Assistant Chief of the Manuscripts Divi- 
sion of the Library of Congress, and now Editor of the 
forthcoming United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission series of Washington's Writings, 
"found" the proclamation. It was at an auction sale 
being held in the American Art Galleries of New York 
City. Dr. Fitzpatrick, an expert in Washingtoniana, ex- 
amined the document and found it to be authentic. It 
was written in long hand by William Jackson, Secretary 
to President Washington at the time, and was signed in 
George Washington's bold hand. Dr. Fitzpatrick pur- 
chased the document for $300.00 for the Library of 

268 Washington Bicentennial 

Congress, where it is now kept as a treasure. And no 
amount of money could remove it. 

The original Proclamation of Thanksgiving, and, in- 
deed, the first Presidential proclamation ever issued in 
the United States, reads as follows: 

"By the President of the United States of America. 

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge 
the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to 
be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his 
protection and favor — and Whereas both Houses of 
Congress have by their joint committee requested me c to 
recommend to the People of the United States a day of 
public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by ac- 
knowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors 
of Almighty God, especially by affording them an op- 
portunity to establish a form of government for their 
safety and happiness.' 

"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thurs- 
day, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by 
the People of these States to the service of that great 
and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all 
the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may 
then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and 
humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of 
the People of this country previous to their becoming 
a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies and the 
favorable interpositions of his providence, which we ex- 
perienced in the course and conclusion of the late war — 
for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, 
which we have since enjoyed — for the peaceable and 
rational manner in which we have been enabled to es- 

News Releases 269 

tablish constitutions of government for our safety and 
happiness, and particularly the national One now lately 
instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which 
we are blessed and the means we have of acquiring and 
diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the 
great and various favors which he hath been pleased to 
confer upon us. 

"And also that we may then unite in most humbly 
offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord 
and Ruler of Nations, and beseech him to pardon our 
national and other transgressions — to enable us all, 
whether in public or private stations, to perform our 
several and relative duties properly and punctually — to 
render our national government a blessing to all the 
People by constantly being a Government of wise, just, 
and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully exe- 
cuted and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns 
and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness to 
us) and to bless them with good Government, peace, and 
concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of 
true religion and virtue, and the increase of science 
among them and us — and generally to grant unto all 
mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he 
alone knows to be best. 

"Given under my hand at the City of New York the 
third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. 

(signed) George Washington" 

Celebration of Thanksgiving Day in America can be 
traced back to the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay 
Colony. From there the custom spread to all parts of 
the United States. 

270 Washington Bicentennial 

First President Did Not Fear Operation 

George Washington, during his first year as President 
of the United States, was attacked by a severe illness that 
required a surgical operation. 

Great anxiety was felt in New York, the capital at 
that time, as the President's case was considered ex- 
tremely dangerous. He was attended by Dr. Samuel 
Bard and his son, who was also a physician. The elder 
Bard, being somewhat doubtful of his nerves, gave the 
knife to his son, bidding him "cut away — deeper, deeper 
still; don't be afraid; you see how well he bears it." This 
story appears in the memoirs of George Washington 
Parke Custis. 

The President was suffering from a malignant car- 
buncle, which, at one time, seemed to be incurable. He 
was attended day and night by Dr. Bard, who was con- 
sidered one of the most skillful physicians and surgeons 
of that day. The painful tumor was upon his thigh, 
and was brought on by the excitement and labor which 
he had undergone since his inauguration. 

To the suggestion of his friend, James McHenry, of 
Baltimore, that Dr. Craik be sent for, Washington re- 
plied that it would be a source of gratification to have 
his old friend with him, but since he could not enjoy 
that benefit he thought himself "fortunate in having 
fallen into such good hands" as Dr. Bard's. Dr. Mc- 
Vicker, in his "Life of Bard," alludes to the illness of 
the President and relates that, on one occasion, being 
left alone with him, the patient, looking the physician 
straight in the eye, desired his candid opinion as to the 
probable termination of his illness, adding with perfect 

News Releases 271 

composure, "Don't flatter me with vain hopes; I am not 
afraid to die, and can bear the worst." 

Dr. Bard expressed a hope, but acknowledged his ap- 
prehension. Washington replied, with the same cool- 
ness, "Whether tonight or 20 years hence makes no dif- 
ference; I know that I am in the care of a good Provi- 

Happily, the operation proved successful and the 
President's recovery removed all cause for alarm. Dur- 
ing the President's illness a chain was stretched across 
the street on which his residence stood, and the side- 
walks were laid with straw, to subdue any noise. 

Corner Stone of the Capitol 

On September 18, 1793, Washington, clothed in the 
symbolic regalia of the Ancient Order of Free Masons, 
and wearing the Masonic apron, made for him by the 
Marchioness de Lafayette, laid the corner stone at the 
southeast corner of the edifice which became the 
National Capitol of the United States. 

The ceremonies were attended with much pomp and 
rejoicing. The official opening of the event was 
announced by a discharge of artillery. Then a large 
silver plate was presented by the grand master. The 
plate bore the following inscription: 

"This southeast corner stone of the Capitol of the 
United States of America, in the city of Washington, 
was laid on the 18 th day of September, 1793, in the 
thirteenth year of American Independence, in the first 
year of the second term of the Presidency of GEORGE 
WASHINGTON, whose virtues in the civil adminis- 
tration of his country have been as conspicuous and 

272 Washington Bicentennial 

beneficial as his military valor and prudence have been 
useful in establishing her liberties, and in the year of 
Masonry 5793, by the President of the United States, 
in concert with the Grand Lodge of Maryland, several 
lodges under its jurisdiction, and Lodge No. 22, from 
ers; JOSEPH CLARK, Right Worshipful Grand Master 
pro tempore; JAMES HOB AN and STEPHEN HAL- 
LETTE, architects; COLLIN WILLIAMSON, master 

This inscription was read to the audience after which 
the artillery discharged another volley. A compilation 
from the original records of the Alexandria Lodge of 
Masons describes what followed: 

"The plate was then delivered to the President, who, 
attended by the Grand Master pro tempore and three 
Most Worshipful Masters, descended to the cavazion 
trench and deposited the plate and laid it on the corner 
stone of the Capitol of the United States of America, on 
which were deposited corn, wine, and oil, when the 
whole congregation joined in reverential prayer, which 
was succeeded by Masonic chanting honors and a volley 
from the artillery. 

"The President of the United States and his attendent 
brethren ascended from the cavazion to the east of the 
corner stone, and there the Grand Master pro tempore, 
elevated on a triple rostrum, delivered an oration fitting 
the occasion, which was received with brotherly love 
and commendation. At intervals during the delivery 
of the oration several volleys were discharged by the 
artillery. The ceremony ended in prayer, Masonic 

News Releases 273 

chanting honors, and a fifteen volley from the artillery. 

"The whole company retired to an extensive booth, 
where an ox of 500 pounds' weight was barbecued, of 
which the company generally partook, with every abun- 
dance of other recreation. The festival concluded with 
fifteen successive volleys from the artillery, whose mili- 
tary discipline and maneuvers merit every commenda- 
tion. Before dark the whole company departed with 
joyful hopes of the production of their labor." 

It was in this spirit of festivity and devotion that 
the corner stone of the National Capitol was laid. The 
spirit of festivity was occasioned by the progress of the 
American Republic. It was not so long ago that Amer- 
icans were still colonists of England and in 1793 Amer- 
ica stood as a free and independent Republic, a symbol 
of liberty and freedom. Devotion was occasioned by 
the spirit of thanksgiving for these bounties, the like 
of which no other nation enjoyed at that time. 

On June 10, 1929, Herbert Hoover laid the corner 
stone of the new Department of Commerce Building. 
In doing so the President used the same trowel that 
George Washington used when he laid the corner stone 
of the Federal Capitol in 1793, thereby linking up 136 
years of American history. 

Only Two Bills Vetoed by Washington 

George Washington, during his two terms as President 
of the United States, used his power of veto on only 
two occasions. 

The first use of the President's veto was exercised by 
Washington in his disapproval of a bill providing for 

274 Washington Bicentennial 

the apportionment of Representatives among the sev- 
eral States, according to the first enumeration. 

This measure was passed at the meeting of the Second 
Congress of the United States in 1791. 

The proposed legislation was based on a provision 
contained in the Constitution that the number of Rep- 
resentatives should not exceed 1 for every 30,000 per- 
sons. Accordingly the House passed a bill which allotted 
to every State one member for that amount of popula- 
tion. This ratio would leave a fraction of the popula- 
tion of each State unrepresented in the House. Inas- 
much as this would affect a State's representation in the 
popular chamber of Congress, it was felt that the 
situation must be remedied. 

The Senate sought to obviate this difficulty by 
adopting a new principle of apportionment. The 
entire population of the United States rather than the 
population of each State, was accepted as a basis upon 
which the number of Representatives should be deter- 
mined. Dividing this by 30,000, the quotient, 120, was 
obtained, and this was accepted as the number of Repre- 
sentatives of which the House should consist. This 
number was apportioned among the several States ac- 
cording to their population. After allowing one mem- 
ber for each 30,000, it was found that there were some 
eight residuary members. These were apportioned to 
the States having the largest fractions. 

When the bill came to President Washington for his 
approval, he took into consideration the constitutional- 
ity of it. Although the act advocated a new principle, 
yet it was believed by some to be entirely compatible 
with the Constitution. Washington submitted the mat- 

News Releases 275 

ter to his Cabinet. Jefferson and Randolph considered 
the proposal unconstitutional. Knox was undecided and 
Hamilton approved the construction which Congress 
had given it. After thoroughly considering the matter, 
Washington decided to veto the bill on the grounds that 
it was unconstitutional. The reasons for his action which 
settled this important question pertaining to the Con- 
stitution were given by Washington in the following 
letter to the members of the House of Representatives: 

"I have maturely considered the act passed by the two 
Houses entitled 'An act for an apportionment of Rep- 
resentatives among the several States according to the 
first enumeration,' and I return it to your House, 
wherein it originated, with the following objections: 

"First. The Constitution has prescribed that Repre- 
sentatives shall be apportioned among the several States 
according to their respective numbers, and there is no 
one proportion or divisor which, applied to the respec- 
tive numbers of the States, will yield the number and 
allotment of representatives proposed by the bill. 

Second. The Constitution has also provided that 
the number of representatives shall not exceed 1 for 
every 30,000, which restriction is by the context and by 
fair and obvious construction to be applied to the 
separate and respective numbers of the States; and the 
bill has allotted to eight of the States more than 1 for 
every 30,000." 

President Washington used the veto power for the sec- 
ond and last time on February 28, 1797, to disapprove 
"an act to ascertain and fix the military establishment 
of the United States." This measure originated in the 

276 Washington Bicentennial 

House and had as its object the reduction of the cavalry- 
force of the Army. 

In his veto message, Washington pointed out the im- 
portant reasons for maintaining this branch of the mili- 
tary establishment, among which was the value of cav- 
alry in the frontier service against the Indians. 

Muscle Shoals Worried Washington 

The problem of Muscle Shoals is as old as the United 
States. George Washington, the first President, wrestled 
with it. In a letter to his Attorney General, in 1791, 
he said: 

"It is my wish and desire, that you would examine 
the laws of the general government, which have rela- 
tion to Indian affairs, that is, for the purpose of secur- 
ing their lands to them, restraining States or individuals 
from purchasing their lands, and forbidding unauthor- 
ized intercourse in their dealings with them; and, more- 
over, that you would suggest such auxiliary laws, as 
will supply the defects of those, which are in being, 
thereby enabling the executive to enforce obedience. 

"If Congress expect to live in peace with the neigh- 
boring Indians, and to avoid the expenses and horrors 
of continual hostilities, such a measure will be found 
indispensably necessary; for, unless adequate penalties 
are provided, that will check the spirit of speculation 
in lands, and will enable the executive to carry them 
into effect, this country will be constantly embroiled 
with and appear faithless in the eyes not only of the In- 
dians, but of the neighboring powers also. For, not- 
withstanding the existing laws, solemn treaties, and 
proclamations, which have been issued to enforce a com- 

News Releases 277 

pliance with both, and some attempts of the govern- 
ment southwest of the Ohio to restrain their proceed- 
ings, yet the agents for the Tennessee Company are at 
this moment, by public advertisements under the sig- 
nature of a Zachariah Cox, encouraging by offers of 
land and other inducements a settlement at the Muscle 
Shoals, and is likely to obtain emigrants for that pur- 
pose, although there is good evidence, that the measure 
is disapproved by the Creeks and Cherokees; and it is 
presumed it is so likewise by the Chickasaws and Choc- 
taws, unless they have been imposed upon by assurances, 
that trade is the only object in view by the establish- 

Government Printing in Washington's Time , 
and Now 

Facing the Union Station in Washington is a great 
brick building which must take the eye of every visitor 
to the National Capital. If the visitor inquires what it 
is, he will be told that it is the Government Printing 
Office, that here is printed the Congressional Record, 
all public documents, stationery for all the Government 
Departments and for Members of Congress. As be- 
fits a work so important, this printing is done in the 
largest and best equipped establishment and with the 
largest number of linotype and monotype machines in 
the world. That is Government printing as it is done 

With the Nation's celebration of George Washing- 
ton's two hundredth birthday imminent, it becomes 
of interest to inquire how the Government got its print- 
ing done during Washington's Administration when the 

278 Washington Bicentennial 

United States began its career as a republic. On the au- 
thority of the Public Printer, George H. Carter, the Di- 
vision of Information and Publication of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission is 
able to present some interesting facts on the origin and 
growth of Government publication and printing. 

The first mention of printing for the Government of 
the United States occurs in the very first session of Con- 
gress in 1789, in the form of recommendations to Con- 
gress that proposals be invited "for printing the laws and 
other proceedings of congress," both Houses having en- 
tered into an agreement to have their journals and acts 
printed. But not until 1794 do we find Congress or- 
dering an expenditure of $10,000 for "firewood, sta- 
tionery, and printing." Prior to this act, the cost of 
printing was paid out of the general contingent fund. 

In 1804 we find Congress instructing the clerk to ad- 
vertise for its printing and to award the contract to the 
lowest bidder, and for five years this contract system 
prevailed, with no great satisfaction, however. In 1818 
the Senate and House appointed a joint committee to 
inquire into a better method. This committee reported 
unanimously and emphatically in favor of a govern- 
mental printing establishment, as the most economical 
and satisfactory, yet for more than forty years the re- 
port was ignored and Senate and House ballotted each 
year on the choice of a printer to handle its work. 

Finally the expense and impracticality of this policy 
led to an Act of Congress on June 23, 1860, which au- 
thorized governmental printing under a "Superintend- 
ent of Public Printing." In 1861, $135,000 was appro- 
priated for the purchase of an established printery. 

News Releases 279 

Evidently this was, for the time, a modern plant, em- 
ploying 350 people, and there for the first time the Gov- 
ernment became its own publisher. President Lincoln 
appointed John D. Defrees of Indiana as Superintend- 
ent, who promptly reported decreasing the cost of our 
national printing at least 1 5 per cent below the old con- 
tract price. As the business of governing the nation 
grew, the government printery was enlarged, until 1899, 
when the present great building, to cost $2,430,000 was 
authorized. In the meantime the "Superintendent of 
Public Printing" had been named simply the Public 

Now this model plant employs 4,000 people, with an 
annual payroll of $7,647,000 and a total yearly expendi- 
ture of $1 1,834,000. Surely George Washington would 
approve the growth and efficiency of this institution and 
the immense advance it represents over the primitive 
methods of printing and handling Government docu- 
ments in use during his first presidency. 

University of Pennsylvania Conferred Honorary 
Degree on George Washington 

When the average American citizen thinks of George 
Washington, he has a conception of a great soldier and 
a great statesman, but rarely does he think of Wash- 
ington's other noble achievements and interests. 

George Washington was intensely interested in 
education. He was responsible for the founding of the 
Alexandria Academy in Alexandria, Va., and endowed 
it with a fund for free instruction; he left a bequest to 
what is now Washington and Lee University, and that 
institution, in honor of its benefactor, changed its name 

280 Washington Bicentennial 

from Liberty Hall Academy to Washington Academy; 
many institutions for the promotion of knowledge 
elected him as an honorary member; and five of our 
oldest institutions of higher learning conferred on him 
honorary degrees. 

On July 4, 148 years ago, the University of Pennsyl- 
vania honored George Washington with the degree of 
LL.D. This event took place in 1783, the year which 
marked the end of hostilities between Great Britain 
and the American States. 

Unfortunately, George Washington either did not 
keep a diary at that time, or it has disappeared. We 
know, however, that the General did not receive the 
degree in person, for on that date he was at his head- 
quarters at Newburgh, N. Y. 

On June 26, 1783, the trustees of the university 
voted to award the degree of LL.D. to George Wash- 
ington; the formal award was made on Commencement 
Day, July 4, and the parchment was presented to Wash- 
ington in November, following his farewell address to 
his officers at Fraunce's Tavern in New York. 

George Washington had several contacts with the 
University of Pennsylvania. In 1781 the university 
sent him a message of congratulation on the Yorktown 
victory. Washington was present at the commence- 
ment exercises of the university in 1775 and 1782. In 
1787, during the Constitutional Convention, he accom- 
panied his hostess, Mrs. Robert Morris, to the charity 
ball in College Hall, and in 1790 he was present when 
the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania was 

July 4, 1932, therefore, should be a special day in 

News Releases 281 

Pennsylvania for ceremonies in connection with the bi- 
centennial celebration of George Washington, for it not 
only marks the anniversary of America's Declaration 
of Independence, but it also marks the day when Penn- 
sylvania's leading educational institution honored him 
with an honorary degree. 

Washington Received Degrees From Five Colleges 

Impressive ceremonies paying homage to George 
Washington as a pioneer in education will feature the 
graduation exercises to be held in America's schools and 
colleges in June, 1932, as a part of their celebration of 
the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the first 
President, according to plans being completed by 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 

In this connection it is recalled that George Wash- 
ington received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws 
from five of the country's oldest colleges. 

The first of such degrees was conferred upon him 
by Harvard in 1776, which action was followed by 
Yale in 1781, the University of Pennsylvania in 1783, 
Washington College (Chester town, Md.) in 1789, and 
Brown University in 1790. 

George Washington was one of the original con- 
tributors to the fund which made the existence of 
Washington College possible, and also gave permission 
to call the college by his name. This is one of the few 
educational institutions to be given his name with his 
personal consent. 

At the commencement exercises on June 24, 1789, 
while Washington was President of the United States, 

282 Washington Bicentennial 

he was made a Doctor of Laws by this college. His 
letter of acknowledgment and appreciation, dated from 
New York, July 11, 1789, follows: 

rr To the Corporation of Visitors and Governors and the 
Principal and Vacuity of Professors of Washing- 
ton College in the State of Maryland, 

"Gentlemen: Your very affectionate Address, and 
the honorary Testimony to your regard which accom- 
panied it, will call forth my grateful acknowledgment. 

"A recollection of past events, and the happy termi- 
nation of our glorious struggle for the establishment of 
the rights of Man cannot fail to inspire every feeling 
heart with veneration and gratitude toward the Great 
Ruler of Events, who has so manifestly interposed in 
our behalf. 

"Among the numerous blessings which are attendant 
upon Peace, and as one whose consequences are of the 
most important and extensive kind, may be reckoned 
the prosperity of Colleges and Seminaries of Learning. 

"As, in civilized societies, the welfare of the state 
and happiness of the people are advanced or retarded, 
in proportion as the morals and education of the youth 
are attended to; I cannot forbear, on this occasion to 
express the satisfaction which I feel on seeing the in- 
crease of our seminaries of learning through this exten- 
sive country, and the general wish which seems to pre- 
vail for establishing and maintaining these valuable 

"It affords me peculiar pleasure to know that the 
Seat of Learning under your direction hath attained to 
such proficiency in the Sciences since the Peace; and 
I sincerely pray the great Author of the Universe may 

News Releases 283 

smile upon the Institution, and make it an extensive 
blessing to this country. 

"George Washington." 

George Washington was greatly interested in educa- 
tion, as is shown by the way in which he spent money, 
time, and thought upon the education of the young 
people for whom he was responsible, among them being 
the children and grandchildren of Martha Washington. 
He was a pioneer in the interests of universal education, 
primary, secondary, and collegiate. It engaged his at- 
tention and constructive thought even in his will; fully 
six pages of that historic document is devoted to setting 
forth his ideas in regard to it. 

One of the first free schools in America was founded 
by him and some other public-spirited men in Alex- 
andria, Va. This school was known as the Alexandria 
Academy, and was for the education of orphaned or 
poor children of that city. This building still stands, 
and is at present included in the school system of the 
State. In his will, among other gifts for educational 
purposes, he left a bequest to Liberty Hall Academy, 
now Washington and Lee University, thus showing that 
he was a patron of education in a material way. 

Washington's Tour of Southern States 

One hundred and forty years ago, on the morning 
of April 7, 1791, President George Washington left 
Mount Vernon on a tour of the Southern States. On 
this journey, the longest during his administration and 
perhaps the most extensive land trip he ever made, the 
first President covered a distance of 1,887 miles. The 

284 Washington Bicentennial 

entire journey was made in his own coach and con- 
sumed a little more than two months. When he re- 
turned to Mount Vernon June 12, he noted in his diary 
that the same horses had been used throughout the 
entire journey. 

In calling attention to the anniversary of this tour, 
the Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission notes that the journey which Washington made 
more than a century ago was not the simple matter 
such a trip would be under modern conditions. Today 
the same tour would take no more than three weeks, 
including the same delays incident to the celebrations 
which were held in honor of the President. 

Not only would modern travel facilities have increased 
the speed with which Washington journeyed — they also 
would have enabled him to make the trip with greater 
ease and comfort. Something of the hardships he ex- 
perienced may be seen from his diary record of the 
tour. The day he left Mount Vernon, while crossing 
the ferry at Colchester, Washington nearly lost his 
horses when they became excited and plunged into the 
water from the boat. 

The roads over which Washington traveled were 
rough and dusty in dry weather or seemingly bottom- 
less pits of mud after a storm. Many times both men 
and horses suffered from the effects of dust stirred up 
by beating hoofs and grinding wheels. Progress was so 
slow that to travel more than 40 miles a day was 
considered unusual. 

The story of Washington's journey is an account of 
continued ovation. Most of the people who attended 

News Releases 285 

the functions held in honor of the President were see- 
ing Washington for the first time. By these he was 
received as enthusiastically as by his old friends. 
Admiration and esteem for him were universal. 

An interesting sidelight is thrown on the journey by 
Washington's comments in his journal. He nearly al- 
ways noted the number of ladies present at the social 
functions in his honor, and that their charms were not 
lost on the President is indicated by his references to 
their elegant gowns and handsome appearance. 

At most of the cities Washington was received by 
the military organizations and was greeted with a 
"Federal salute." In one small community, however, 
the people did not possess guns enough for this ostenta- 
tious welcome, and Washington somewhat dryly notes 
in his diary that "We were received by as good a salute 
as could be given by one piece of artillery." 

Washington considered his trip a success, and some 
time after his return to Philadelphia wrote of it: 

"I am much pleased that I have taken this journey, 
as it has enabled me to see with my own eyes the situa- 
tion of the country through which we travelled, and to 
learn more accurately the disposition of the people than 
I could have done by any information. 

"The country appears to be in a very improving state, 
and industry and frugality are becoming much more 
fashionable than they have hitherto been there. Tran- 
quillity reigns among the people, with that disposition 
towards the general government, which is likely to pre- 
serve it. They begin to feel the good effects of equal 
laws and equal protection * * * Each day's ex- 
perience of the government of the United States seems 

286 Washington Bicentennial 

to confirm its establishment, and to render it more 

"See America First" Was Washington's Advice 

"See America first!" This, in effect, was what George 
Washington said as early as 1771. 

Washington was well aware of the educational value 
of broad travel, and few Americans of his time saw 
more of this country than he did, according to the 
Division of Information and Publication of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

He was also aware of the educational value of trips 
abroad, but expressed the opinion, which holds good 
even to today, "that every man who travels with a view 
of observing the laws and customs of other countries 
should be able to give some description of the situation 
and government of his own." 

The above quotation is from a letter he wrote on 
July 9, 1771, to Dr. Boucher, in regard to a trip to 
England, which had been planned by John Parke Custis, 
Washington's stepson, whom Dr. Boucher was tutoring. 
In this letter Washington, in part, said: 

"My own inclinations were still as strong as ever for 
Mr. Custis's pursuing his travelling scheme . . . pro- 
vided, that it should appear, when his judgment is a little 
more matured, that he is desirous of undertaking this 
tour upon a plan of improvement, rather than a vague 
desire of gratifying an idle curiosity, or spending his 
money wantonly. For by the bye, if his mother does 
not speak her sentiments, rather than his, he is abun- 
dantly luke-warm in the scheme; and I can not help 
giving it as my opinion, that his education, from what I 

News Releases 287 

have understood of his improvements, (however ad- 
vanced it may be for a youth of his age,) is by no 
means ripe enough for a tour of travelling; not that I 
think his becoming a mere scholar is a desirable edu- 
cation for a gentleman, but I conceive a knowledge 
of books as the basis upon which other knowledge is 
to be built, and that it is men and things more than 
books he is to be acquainted with by travelling. At 
present, however well versed he may be in the prin- 
ciples of the Latin language (which is not to be at all 
wondered at, as he began the study of it as soon as he 
could speak) , he is unacquainted with several of their 
classical authors, which might be useful to him to read. 
He is ignorant of the Greek, (which the advantages of 
understanding I do not pretend to judge) , knows noth- 
ing of French, which is absolutely necessary to him as 
a traveller; little or nothing acquainted with arithmetic, 
and totally ignorant of the mathematics, than which, 
so much of it at least relates to surveying, nothing can 
be more essentially necessary to any person possessed of 
a large landed estate, the bounds of some part or other 
is always in controversy. 

"Now, whether he has time between this and next 
spring to acquire a sufficient knowledge of these, or so 
much of them as are requisite, I leave you to judge of; 
and whether a boy of seventeen years old, which will be 
his age the last of November next, can have any just 
notions of the end and design of travelling? I have 
already given it as my opinion, that it would be pre- 
cipitating this event, unless he was to go immediately to 
the university for a couple of years, and in this case he 
could see nothing of America; which might be a dis- 

288 Washington Bicentennial 

advantage to him, as it is to be expected that every man, 
who travels with a view of observing the laws and cus- 
toms of other countries, should be able to give some de- 
scription of the situation and government of his own." 

George Washington and Peace 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission feels that the coming celebration of the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Wash- 
ington will act as an impetus to the establishment of 
that world peace and security which all intelligent 
people hope and strive for. With the observance of 
Armistice Day, the Commission urges that George 
Washington be presented to the people of America as 
the lover of peace that he was. It points out that history 
has over-stressed Washington's war activities, and that 
his work toward making America the land of peace has 
been underestimated. 

The associate directors of the Commission have 
repeatedly emphasized, in their articles and speeches, 
that George Washington was an exponent of peace and 
not of war. They feel that the fame of George Wash- 
ington rests as much, if not more, on his activities dur- 
ing times of peace as it does on his war record. 

War did not hold the glamor for Washington, 
particularly in his later life, that is generally believed. 
He anxiously awaited the coming of peace and the time 
when he could retire to his home and reap the enjoy- 
ment afforded by security and quiet. His writings show 
the constant longing to return to his family and friends 
and to devote himself to the pursuits of peace. 

News Releases 289 

As much as Washington loved peace, however, he 
loved his country more. As a last resort he would and 
did appeal to arms. Washington left his home for eight 
long years to win independence for the American 
Colonies and to give to the people of the United States 
their ideals of liberty and toleration. While President, 
in September, 1794, Washington sent troops to put 
down the "Whisky Rebellion" in western Pennsylvania. 
As late as 1798, a year before his death, at the age of 66, 
Washington once again left his beloved Mount Vernon, 
the place which for him meant peace and happiness, 
to go to Philadelphia to assume the duties of Com- 
mander in Chief of the United States Army. Luckily, 
the ill wind which almost brought war between France 
and America passed over and Washington could return 
home. But he was ready to fight, if necessary, for his 

In spite, however, of a long list of military achieve- 
ments George Washington, more than anyone else, kept 
the new Nation at peace. As soon as the war was over, 
Washington counseled peace. For eight years, as Presi- 
dent of the United States, he steered a course which 
avoided war. Throughout his correspondence we find 
him cautioning his fellow citizens to keep out of entan- 
glements which might lead to bloodshed. 

Early in 1782, when the Revolutionary War was 
coming to a close, Washington, by the slightest sign, 
could have become dictator of America. Not only did 
he refuse to do this, but, when the subject was broached 
to him, his indignation was so great and his denuncia- 
tion of the plot was so emphatic, that the conspiracy 
was scotched before it was well hatched. 

290 Washington Bicentennial 

In answer to Col. Lewis Nicola, who hinted to Wash- 
ington that the General could become dictator, Wash- 
ington, on May 22, 1782, replied: 

"With a mixture of great surprise and astonishment, 
I have read with attention the sentiments you have 
submitted to my perusal. Be assured, Sir, no occurrence 
in the course of the war has given me more painful 
sensations, than your information of there being such 
ideas existing in the army, as you have expressed, and 
I must view with abhorrence and reprehend with 

"... I am much at a loss to conceive what part of 
my conduct could have given encouragement to an 
address, which to me seems big with the greatest mis- 
chiefs, that can befall my Country. If I am not de- 
ceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have 
found a person to whom your schemes are more 

By this reply Washington saved America from 
internecine war. We need but to glance over the his- 
tory of revolutions in foreign countries — in France, 
Russia, China, Mexico, and others too numerous to men- 
tion — to realize what America was spared because of 
George Washington's love for peace. 

When Washington bade farewell to his army on 
November 2, 1783, he warned his soldiers against war 
and pictured to them the blessings of peace: 

". . . it is earnestly recommended to all the troops, 
that, with strong attachments to the Union, they should 
carry with them into civil society the most conciliating 
dispositions, and that they should prove themselves not 
less virtuous and useful as citizens, than they have been 

News Releases 291 

persevering and victorious as soldiers . . . and let a con- 
sciousness of their achievements and fame still incite 
the men, who composed them, to honorable actions; 
under the persuasion that the private virtues of econ- 
omy, prudence, and industry, will not be less amiable in 
civil life, than the more splendid qualities of valor, 
perseverance, and enterprise were in the field." 

In his now famous Proclamation of Neutrality on 
April 22, 1793, Washington, as leader of America, 
bluntly told the world that America did not want war, 
by saying: 

"I have therefore thought fit by these presents to 
declare the disposition of the United States to observe 
the conduct aforesaid (neutrality) towards those powers 
respectively, and to exhort and warn the citizens of 
the United States carefully to avoid all acts and pro- 
ceedings whatsoever, which may in any manner tend 
to contravene such disposition." 

These words certainly showed Washington to be a man 
of peace. Whether or not America would have assumed 
this attitude if another man had been Chief Executive 
of the Nation, we can not say; but we can say that 
America was fortunate in having a man for its leader 
who abhorred war. 

And, finally, in his Farewell Address, issued on 
September 17, 1796, Washington sounded the note of 
peace, internal peace, as well as peace with foreign 
powers. In that message, which has since become a 
political classic, Washington said: 

*\ . . nothing is more essential than that permanent, 
inveterate antipathies against particular nations and pas- 
sionate attachments for others should be excluded; and 

292 Washington Bicentennial 

that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward 
all should be cultivated. — The Nation, which indulges 
towards another an habitual hatred or an habitual fond- 
ness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its ani- 
mosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to 
lead it astray from its duty and its interest. — Antip- 
athy in one nation against another disposes each more 
readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight 
causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, 
when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. — 
Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed and 
bloody contests." 

And so, when we of today pay our respects to the 
Father of His Country, we are justified in claiming that, 
while George Washington was a soldier of the highest 
grade, he was even greater as a real leader for peace, a 
leader in teaching and practising the ideal that man's 
best self-expression and man's highest achievements 
come in times of peace. Beneath George Washington's 
military cloak flamed the idealism of peace. 

An Indissoluble Union 

One of Gen. George Washington's most outstanding 
acts, which again demonstrated his remarkable fore- 
sight, was his circular letter addressed to the governors 
of the States, urging the necessity of a better central 

The letter, which was as eloquent as it was forcible, 
was written on June 8, 1783, and was one of Washing- 
ton's last official acts before resigning the commission 
as Commander in Chief of the Continental Armies. 

News Releases 293 

The letter was remarkable for its ability, the deep 
interest it manifested for the officers and soldiers who 
had fought the battles of their country, the soundness 
of its principles, and the wisdom of its counsels. 

He had learned by bitter experience, as no other man 
had learned, the vital need and value of union, the lack 
of which meant, to his mind, disaster. It was his wish 
to see a union of the States established upon liberal 
and permanent principles. In his letter to the governors, 
he said: 

"... There are four things, which, I humbly conceive, 
are essential to the well-being, I may even venture to say, 
to the existence of the United States, as an independent 

"First. An indissoluble union of the States under one 
federal head. 

"Secondly. A sacred regard to public justice. 

"Thirdly. The adoption of a proper peace establish- 
ment; and, 

"Fourthly. The prevalence of that pacific and friendly 
disposition among the people of the United States, which 
will induce them to forget their local prejudices and 
policies; to make those mutual concessions, which are 
requisite to the general prosperity; and, in some in- 
stances, to sacrifice their individual advantages to the 
interest of the community." 

The same appeal went forth again in his last address 
to the army when he said: 

"And, although the General has so frequently given it 
as his opinion in the most public and explicit manner, 
that, unless the principles of the Federal Government 
were properly supported, and the powers of the Union 

294 Washington Bicentennial 

increased, the honor, dignity, and justice of the nation 
would be lost forever ; yet he can not help repeating, on 
this occasion, so interesting a sentiment, and leaving it 
as a last injunction to every officer and every soldier, who 
may view the subject in the same sensible point of light, 
to add his best endeavors to those of his worthy fellow 
citizens towards effecting these great and valuable pur- 
poses, on which our very existence as a nation so mate- 
rially depends." 

Origin of "Father of Country" 

The honor of having originated Washington's famous 
title the "Father of the Country" belongs to an old 
Pennsylvania German almanac, according to the Divi- 
sion of Information and Publication of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

The name of the almanac was "Nord Americanische 
Kalender," and was printed in Lancaster, Pa., in 1779. 
The frontispiece — the full size of the page, small quarto, 
an emblematic design — presents in the upper portion of 
it a figure of Fame, with a trumpet in her right hand and 
in her left a medallion portrait laureated, inscribed 
"Waschington." From the trumpet proceed the words 
et Des Landes Vater" — the Father of the Country. 

Count Dumas, an officer of Rochambeau's army, 
leaves an additional record of the title. The General had 
appointed him as escort to attend Washington on his 
journey from Newport to Providence in March, 1781. 
He writes in his memoirs: 

"After having conferred with Count Rochambeau, 
as he [Washington] was leaving us to return to his 
headquarters near West Point, I received the welcome 

News Releases 295 

order to accompany him as far as Providence. We ar- 
rived there at night [March 13] ; the whole of the pop- 
ulation had assembled from the suburbs, we were sur- 
rounded by a crowd of children carrying torches, re- 
iterating the acclamation of the citizens, all were eager 
to approach the person of him whom they called their 
father, and pressed so closely around us that they hin- 
dered us from proceeding. General Washington was 
much affected, stopped a few moments, and pressing 
my hand said, 'We may be beaten by the English; it is 
the chance of war; but behold an army which they can 
never conquer.' " 

Washington Twice Commander in Chief 

July 4, 1932, will have a special significance in the 
George Washington Bicentennial Celebration, for it was 
on that day in 1798 that George Washington, for the 
second time in his colorful career, was chosen Com- 
mander in Chief of the American Army. General 
Washington was the only man in the history of the 
United States to hold the commission as Commander 
in Chief twice. 

Trouble had been brewing with the French Republic 
ever since 1793, due to her resentment over Washing- 
ton's policy of neutrality, and especially over the Jay 
Treaty with Great Britain. The depredations com- 
mitted by her privateers and public vessels on Ameri- 
can commerce were as persistent, within their more lim- 
ited opportunity, as those of Great Britain; and when 
Washington in 1796 recalled Minister Monroe and ap- 
pointed Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the French di- 
rectory not only refused to receive him officially but or- 

296 Washington Bicentennial 

dered him out of its territory. President Adams, in a 
final effort for peace in 1797, sent a special mission of 
three — Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry — 
of whom a bribe was demanded as preliminary to their 
recognition. Pinckney's spirited "not a sixpence" was 
later transformed by some unknown author into the 
phrase "Millions for defence but not one cent for trib- 

As a crisis approached, all eyes were turned upon 
Washington, who for more than a year had been devot- 
ing his efforts to agriculture and who seemed quite con- 
tent with his life as a planter at Mount Vernon. 

Once the American Government had decided upon 
vigorous measures, Congress authorized President Adams 
to enroll 10,000 men as a provisional army, to be called 
by him into actual service, in case of hostilities. The 
American Nation demanded that General Washington 
take command of the army in this new crisis. 

On July 3, 1798, the Senate approved of the nomi- 
nation of General Washington as Commander in Chief 
of all the armies raised, or to be raised, and on the next 
day official appointment was made by President Adams. 
It was determined that Secretary of War, James Mc- 
Henry, should be the bearer of the commission to Mount 
Vernon, accompanied by a letter from the President. 

"The reasons and motives," wrote Mr. Adams in his 
instructions to the Secretary of War, "which prevailed 
with me to venture upon such a step as the nomination 
of this great and illustrious character, whose voluntary 
resignation alone occasioned my introduction to the 
office which I now hold, were too numerous to be de- 
tailed in this letter, and are too obvious and important 

News Releases 297 

to escape the observance of any part of America or 
Europe. But as it is a movement of great delicacy, it 
will require all your address to communicate the sub- 
ject in a manner that shall be inoffensive to his feelings, 
and consistent with all the respect that is due from me 
to him. 

"If the General should decline the appointment, all 
the world will be silent and respectfully acquiesce. If 
he should accept it, all the world, except the enemies 
of this country, will rejoice." 

When Secretary McHenry delivered to the veteran 
commander his new commission as "Lieutenant General 
and Commander-in-Chief," Washington said that, so 
long as he was able he could never refuse to answer the 
call of duty. He accepted the appointment with two 
reservations; first, that the principal officers to be ap- 
pointed should meet with his approval; secondly, that 
he should not be called into the field until the army 
was in a condition to require his presence or until it be- 
came necessary by the urgency of circumstances. 

He immediately set about organizing his army and 
planning his campaign, with all the zest and eagerness 
of the Washington of yore. He advised the appoint- 
ment as major general, of Alexander Hamilton, who 
was to be inspector general and second in command. 
He also selected as major generals, Charles Cotesworth 
Pinckney and Henry Knox, both of whom had served 
with him in the Revolution, but General Knox declined 
his commission. 

The military measures taken in America caused the 
French rulers to assume a more pacific temper. They 
indicated a willingness to cooperate in affecting a 

298 Washington Bicentennial 

friendly and equitable adjustment of existing differ- 
ences. Listening to these overtures, President Adams 
appointed three envoys extraordinary, and invested them 
with full powers to negotiate with the French govern- 
ment. When they arrived in Paris they found Napoleon 
Bonaparte at the head of affairs, who, having taken no 
part in the preceding disputes, and perceiving no ad- 
vantage in continuing them, readily assented to an ac- 

No event was more desired by Washington, but he 
did not live to participate in the joy with which the in- 
telligence was received by his countrymen. 

Washington and the Constitution 

One of the most momentous gatherings ever to con- 
vene in this continent assembled in Philadelphia May 
25, 1787. It was the Constitutional Convention, which 
was called by the Continental Congress to consider the 
amendment of the Articles of Confederation or the 
creation of a new instrument of government by which 
the United States might be better consolidated and the 
public affairs more efficiently administered. 

The foremost men of the country were there, but 
conspicuous above all the rest was George Washington, 
the former Commander in Chief of the Continental 
Armies under whose leadership independence had been 
won. It was inevitable that he should take a leading 
part in erecting a suitable government for the country 
he had saved, and as soon as the convention could 
organize he was unanimously "called up to the chair 
as President .of the body." 

News Releases 299 

The Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission notes the importance of this date in the history 
of this country, and calls attention to the fact that it 
is to be the occasion for suitable ceremonies in con- 
nection with the nation-wide celebration next year of 
the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 

The bicentenary observance of the birth of the first 
President has been planned to extend to every corner 
of the United States. It will begin on February 22 and 
continue until the following Thanksgiving Day. It will 
embrace every phase of Washington's life and include 
in its program the recognition of his great services to 
this country. 

The records of the convention, consisting of the 
official journal and the unofficial shorthand notes made 
by James Madison, record only one occasion when 
Washington made a suggestion in the convention as to 
a point in the Constitution. There can be no doubt, 
however, that he was in constant touch with the lead- 
ers of the convention and that his counsel was taken 
upon many important clauses of the document as 
finally completed. 

It is impossible to overestimate the influence George 
Washington wielded in the framing of the Constitution. 
The part he played in the creation of this great instru- 
ment of Government did not consist of impassioned 
oratory or specious argument. It was solely the silent 
influence of an unassailable character. 

When the delegates came to the convention many 
of them were determined not to surrender the author- 

300 Washington Bicentennial 

ity of the separate States to any form of central gov- 
ernment, but the realization that George Washington 
would be the first Executive under the Constitution 
led them to abandon their objection and confer on the 
President more power than they at first had any idea 
of granting. It may be said that the Presidency of the 
United States was created with George Washington as 
the ideal type of man who should fill that office. 

First Law Under the Constitution 

Critical Americans who profess to be troubled by the 
multiplicity of our laws have consolation within easy 
reach. They have only to turn back, either in imagina- 
tion or in real research, to the day when our Nation had, 
not simply few laws, but no laws at all. The experience 
of turning back is guaranteed to furnish either a sigh 
of relief or a thrill of pleasure; for there was a day when 
the first Congress of the United States, at its first ses- 
sion, had to pass a first law, to be approved by the first 
President of the United States — George Washington. 

A representative of the Division of Information and 
Publication of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission has had the privilege and the 
thrill of reading the text of the first law ever passed 
under the Constitution of the United States, which 
Washington signed on June 1, 1789, as printed in a first 
volume of these laws that belonged to George Washing- 
ton himself. And very fitting you will find this first 
of our national laws. It lays down the form and the 
method of administering the oath of allegiance to the 
Constitution of the United States, to be required of 

News Releases 301 

every officer of the Government, elected or appointed, 
high or low. 

Incidentally, this first law ever passed by the United 
States Congress authorized and justified Calvin Coolidge 
in having himself sworn in as President by his father, a 
justice of the peace in a village in Vermont. 

This thin little calf -bound volume of 1 8 5 pages con- 
taining these acts of the First Congress, and bearing the 
flowing signature of "G. Washington," in token of his 
ownership, is one of the rare possessions of the Library 
of Congress. It bears on its title page, "Acts Passed at 
a Congress of the United States of America, Begun and 
Held in the City of New York the Fourth Day of March 
in the year 1789 and of the Independence of the United 
States the Eleventh." It was published by the firm of 
Hodge, Allen and Campbell, of New York, 1789. 

As a further incident of interest, this is probably the 
first observance of what is now fixed custom in dating 
Presidential proclamations and other state papers — that 
of adding the calendar date, A. D., also the years since 
American Independence. 

This volume of the first laws of the United States 
opens with the full text of the Constitution itself. Then 
follows the first law, under the caption of "Chapter I." 
The provision reads: 

"An Act to regulate the Time and Manner of Admin- 
istering certain Oaths 

"Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and Repre- 
sentatives of the United States of America in Congress 
assembled. That the Oath or Affirmation required by the 
sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, 

302 Washington Bicentennial 

shall be administered in the form following, to wit, e I, 
A. B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) 
that I will support the Constitution of the United 
States.' The said oath or affirmation shall be adminis- 
tered within three days after the passing of this act, by 
any one member of the Senate, to the President of the 
Senate, and by him to all the members, and to the Secre- 
tary; and by the Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives to all members who have not taken a similar oath, 
by virtue of a particular resolution of the said House, 
and to the Clerk: And in case of the absence of any 
member from the service of either House, at the same 
time prescribed for taking said oath or affirmation, the 
same shall be administered to such member when he shall 
appear to take his seat. 

"Section 2. And be it further enacted, That at the 
first session of Congress after every general election of 
Representatives, the oath or affirmation aforesaid, shall 
be administered by any one member of the House of 
Representatives to the Speaker; and by him to all the 
members present, and to the Clerk, previous to entering 
on any other business; and to the members who shall 
afterward appear, previous to taking their seats. The 
President of the Senate, for the time being, shall also 
administer the said oath or affirmation to each Senator 
who shall hereafter be elected, previous to taking his 
seat; and in any future case of a President of the Senate, 
who shall not have taken said oath or affirmation, the 
same shall be administered to him by any one member 
of the Senate. 

"Section 3. And be it further enacted. That the mem- 
bers of the several State legislatures, at the next session 

News Releases 303 

of the said legislature respectively, and all executive and 
judicial officers of the several States, who have been here- 
tofore chosen or appointed, or who shall be chosen or 
appointed, before the first day of August next, and who 
shall then be in office, shall, within one month thereafter, 
take the same oath or affirmation, except where they 
shall have taken it before; which may be administered 
by any person authorized by the law of the State in 
which such office shall be holden, to administer oaths. 
And the members of the several State legislatures, and 
all executive and judicial officers of the several States, 
who shall be chosen or appointed after the said first day 
of August, shall, before they proceed to execute the 
duties of their respective offices, take the foregoing oath 
or affirmation, which shall be administered by the per- 
son or persons who by the law of the State shall be au- 
thorized to administer the oath of office; and the person 
or persons so administering the oath hereby required to 
be taken, shall cause a record or certificate thereof to 
be made in the same manner as, by the law of the State, 
he or they shall be directed to record or certify the oath 
of office. 

"Section 4. And be it further enacted, That all offi- 
cers appointed, or hereafter to be appointed, under the 
authority of the United States, shall, before they act in 
their respective offices, take the same oath or affirma- 
tion, which shall be administered by the person or per- 
sons who shall be authorized by law to administer to 
such officers their respective oaths of office; and such 
officers shall incur the same penalties in case of failure, 
as shall be imposed by law in case of failure in taking 
their respective oaths of office. 

304 Washington Bicentennial 

"Section 5. And be it further enacted, That the Sec- 
retary of the Senate, and the Clerk of the House of 
Representatives for the time being, shall, at the time of 
taking the oath or affirmation aforesaid, each take an 
oath or affirmation in the words following, to wit, % 
A. B., Secretary of the Senate, or Clerk of the House of 
Representatives (as the case may be) of the United 
States of America, do solemnly swear or affirm that I 
will truly and faithfully discharge the duties of my 
office, to the best of my knowledge and abilities.' 

"Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

"John Adams, 

Vice President of the United States 

and President of the Senate. 

"Approved, June 1, 1789, 

George Washington, 

President of the United States." 

Thus stands the first recorded law of our country. It 
originated in the House of Representatives and was pro- 
posed by Representative Daniel Carroll, of Maryland. 
With little debate, the Senate concurred and George 
Washington, President of the United States, signed the 
billon June 1, 1789. 

Letter From Monroe to Washington 

A hitherto unpublished letter written by James 
Monroe when he was minister to France and addressed 
to President George Washington, has just come into the 

News Releases 305 

possession of officials of the James Monroe Shrine of 
Fredericksburg, Va. 

The letter, which is a rather lengthy one, was written 
from Paris January 3, 1795. It refers to money, which 
General Washington, out of his own purse, had placed 
at the disposal of Madame Lafayette, against which 
Monroe had already advanced her $2,000; of his efforts 
to aid Count Lafayette, who was in an Austrian prison 
at Olmutz; and a vivid description of existing condi- 
tions of the French Revolution. 

Monroe had reached Paris during the Revolution just 
after the fall of Robespierre, and he learned the day 
after his arrival of the plight of the Lafayette family. 
Madame Lafayette, who was confined in the prison of 
La Force in Paris, was hourly expecting to be guillotined. 
Her grandmother, her mother, and her sister had been 
beheaded the day before. Through the energetic ef- 
forts of Mrs. Monroe, Madame Lafayette was released, 
and, accompanied by her two daughters, left almost 
immediately for Olmutz, in order to be near her 

Declaring that Madame Lafayette "readily and with 
pleasure accepted" the money President Washington 
had sent, Minister Monroe wrote, in part: 

"I assured her when she left France that there was 
no service within my power to render her and her hus- 
band and family that I do not with pleasure render 
them; to count upon my utmost efforts and command 
them in their favor; that it was your wish and the 
wish of America that I should do so; to consult her 
husband as to the modes and means and to apprise me 

306 Washington Bicentennial 

of his opinion thereon. She departed grateful to you 
and our country, and since I have not heard from 
her. . . . 

"What may be the ultimate disposition of France 
toward Lafayette it is impossible now to say. ... It 
is more than probable I may be able to serve him with 
those by whom he is confined and that I may do this 
without injury to the United States here; acting with 
candor and avowing the motive, since it is impossible 
that motive can be otherwise than approved, especially 
if the step be taken when their affairs are in great pros- 
perity. For this, however, I shall be happy to have an 
approbation, since if I do anything with the Emperor, 
it must be done in your name, if not explicitly, yet in 
a manner to make known to him the interest you take 
in the welfare of Mr. Lafayette." 

Referring to the French Revolution, Monroe says: 
"Both armies are in the neighborhood of Maylene, where 
the country is almost entirely devastated. In Italy the 
Austrians are completely routed, and their whole army 
nearly demolished." 

In this letter Monroe takes occasion to ask Wash- 
ington if he desired a table or some other articles of 
curiosity sent to him from Paris. In a postscript he 

"There are many articles of tapestry, the most beau- 
tiful that can be conceived, and which are intended for 
the walls of rooms, for chair bottoms, etc., some of 
which perhaps would be acceptable to the Commission- 
ers of the Federal Town, and which if permitted by 
you or them, I would immediately procure and 

News Releases 307 

Money in Washington's Day 

Most of us are so absorbed in collecting the coins of 
today that we take it for granted that money has al- 
ways existed in the United States. Currency of various 
sorts did early supplant our first settlers' methods of 
barter, but what, for example, was the sort of money 
in circulation during George Washington's Presidency? 

Many will be surprised to learn from the Division of 
Information and Publication of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission that the then 
new United States Government issued only what the 
people of that day called "hard money"; that is, cur- 
rency in gold, silver, and copper. 

They had good reason for this preference. The 
paper money issued by the Continental Congress during 
the Revolution had become deflated to the point where 
General Washington complained that it "took a wagon- 
load of money to purchase a wagon-load of provisions." 

In the day of deliverance, when the country was free 
and the new Government of the United States was 
set up, the people wanted no more of paper money. 
Curiously enough, these early "shin-plasters" of the 
Colonies has now, in the eyes of collectors, a value un- 
heard of in the days of its actual use. This modern 
value further grows from the fact that some of it came 
from the presses of Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere, 
who had been commissioned by their respective Colonies 
to strike off such money. 

A typical specimen of this paper, issued by Connecti- 
cut during the Revolution, reads: "ONE POUND. The 
possessor of this Bill shall be paid by the Treasurer of 

308 Washington Bicentennial 

the Colony of Connecticut TWENTY SHILLINGS, 
Lawful Money, by the First Day of January, A. D. 
1781. By Order of the Assembly, Hartford, June 7th, 
1776." In a word, it was a promissory note, and 
popular faith in the promise early waned, as probably 
none was ever redeemed in specie. 

By 1780 this paper had been issued in denominations 
of dollars and cents, as well as in shillings and pounds. 
This early dollar, by the way, was the Spanish peso, the 
silver "piece of eight" made famous in pirate yarns. 

Visitors to Washington during the George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Celebration will see in the Smith- 
sonian Institution a full display of this early paper, 
along with the "hard money" of the Washington admin- 
istration. About three specimens are preserved from 
each of the Colonies, each specimen with its character- 
istic, "vignette" from which developed the conventional 
designs on the paper money of today. 

The mottoes on some of these decorations some- 
times expressed refreshing political candor. One three- 
dollar Continental bill carries the frank statement, 
"Exitus in dubio est." And so that the holder himself 
need be in no fog in the matter, an English translation 
was added: "The issue is in doubt." The holder was 
left in doubt, nevertheless, as to which issue was shaky, 
the War of Independence or the value of that particular 

As to the "hard money" that officially replaced this 
paper, Robert Morris was ordered by Congress in 1782 
to report on the foreign coins circulating in the United 
States, with a plan for an American coinage. Through 
the efforts of Morris, Jefferson and Hamilton a mint was 

News Releases 309 

authorized, and in 1792, President Washington approved 
a bill establishing such a mint, the first in the United 
States, located in Philadelphia. 

The smallest coin then issued was the copper half- 
cent, with the figure of Liberty on one side, a wreath 
on the other. Next came the cent, a silver half-dime, 
the dime, quarter, half, and dollar as we know them to- 
day. On the silver coins an eagle was placed within 
the wreath on the back. Indeed visitors will be struck 
by the fact that our metal coins of today have changed 
so little from these first designs. 

The gold coins, by the way, the quarter-eagle, half- 
eagle, and eagle, took the name "eagle" from this first 
use of the national bird as a decoration or symbol. 

Communication in Washington's Day 

In 1753, Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, wished 
to communicate with the French commandant at Fort 
Le Boeuf, on the Ohio River. The distance between 
Virginia and the Ohio at this point is not considered 
very great today. A message can now be sent from the 
one place to the other in a minute or two. But in the 
middle of the eighteenth century the same happy con- 
ditions did not prevail. There was only one way for 
the governor to send his message — by a bearer who 
would have to make his way through a practically un- 
known wilderness as best he might. Dinwiddie asked 
George Washington, then 21 years old, to make the 
journey. The young man accepted the commission and 
started for the French outpost. Seventy-seven days 
later he was back in Virginia with the commandant's 

310 Washington Bicentennial 

reply to the British governor. And it had been no pleas- 
ure trip for young Washington, either. In those two 
and a half months he had suffered numerous hardships 
and was constantly exposed to danger — in fact, his es- 
cape from death was in itself a great achievement. 

This is only one example of the difficulty with which 
messages were delivered in those days. It must be re- 
membered that a message, no matter how trivial, could 
be transmitted only by a personal call or by means of 
a letter sent by messenger, even if the communication 
was intended for a person in the same city. Today, 
when it is only necessary for a man to remove the re- 
ceiver from his desk telephone to communicate with 
any telephone subscriber in the city, or almost anywhere 
, else, it is difficult to realize the inconvenience which at- 
tended communication 200 years ago. 

The convenience of modern telephonic communica- 
tion is not limited to any localized area. Any part of 
the country may be reached by telephone within a few 
minutes. Long distance calls within the United States 
are completed in an average of two minutes. Indeed, 
the recent development of radio telephony now makes 
it possible to talk from any large city to nearly every 
other metropolis in the world. This stupendous achieve- 
ment allows a rapidity of communication which was 
not even dreamed of in Washington's day. 

Until the establishment of a postal system there was 
no agency other than the personal messenger by which 
communications could be transmitted. Before a man 
could get a letter to relative or acquaintance in some 
distant city it was sometimes necessary to wait until 
some friend who happened to be traveling to that city 

News Releases 311 

could carry the missive. Even after the coming of the 
postal service, one could never be sure that his letter 
would be speedily delivered. In fact, there was no cer- 
tainty that it would ever reach the person to whom it 
was addressed. On one occasion a letter sent from Bos- 
ton to Washington at Mount Vernon on March 21, 
1797, did not reach its destination until the early part 
of the following June. That such delay was not an 
uncommon occurrence is attested by Washington's own 
letters. In these he frequently accounts for his apparent 
neglect in answering some particular letter by the fact 
that it had been delayed in reaching him. 

Difficult as it was to communicate with people in 
the same country, it was even more difficult to send a 
message across the ocean. Many letters were entrusted 
to merchants or agents who traveled on slow sailboats. 
Today the undersea cable and the radio telephone have 
annihilated both time and distance. The world is no 
longer the appallingly large sphere it seemed to be to 
Washington and his contemporaries. 

Were the first President to return to the United 
States today he would find no occasion to regret his own 
efforts in establishing this country. He might well be 
proud of it as it is proud of him. The forthcoming 
celebration in his honor will demonstrate the love and 
esteem which all Americans hold for their illustrious 

George Washington's Wedding 

So much has been written on the more spectacular 
phases of George Washington's life that it is sometimes 

312 Washington Bicentennial 

difficult to appreciate the really human qualities of the 
man. One of the finest stories ever told of Washing- 
ton is that of his courtship of Martha Custis and their 
subsequent marriage. In this story are revealed some 
of the best and most attractive qualities of America's 
greatest hero. The firm, strong-willed leader of men 
who unflinchingly would face death on the battle field 
found that he needed the companionship and helpful 
counsel of a woman. Fortunately, he met the sort of 
woman he wanted to preside in his home, and they were 
married on January 6, 1759. 

George Washington first met the Widow Custis at 
the home of Major Chamberlayne in May, 1758. The 
lady had then been a widow for about a year. She had 
married Col. Daniel Parke Custis when she was 17 years 
old, and was left at his death eight years later, with two 
small children and a considerable fortune. Although 
it is said that Washington was formally presented to Mrs. 
Custis for the first time by Chamberlayne, it is almost 
certain that the famous soldier and the charming widow 
had at least heard of each other before that time. 

Fate must have taken a hand in the events of that 
day in May when Colonel Washington was detained 
at William's Ferry over the Pamunkey River by his 
friend, Major Chamberlayne, who earnestly pressed upon 
the young man an invitation to stay his journey and 
enjoy the hospitality of the plantation. But Washing- 
ton was hastening to Williamsburg, where he intended 
to ask the governor in person for men and supplies for 
the frontier, which previous urgent letters had failed 
to obtain. Chamberlayne was insistent, however, and 
when it appeared that all his importunities must fail 

News Releases 313 

to alter the plans of the Colonel, he informed the latter 
that he was then entertaining the charming Mrs. Custis. 
This argument, apparently, was potent enough to con- 
vince the young warrior where all others had been vain, 
and Washington consented to remain only long enough 
to partake of the meal which was then being prepared. 

Bishop, the personal servant of Washington, who had 
served under Braddock, was instructed to hold the Colo- 
nel's horse in readiness for a speedy departure as soon 
as dinner was over. The old soldier knew very well his 
master's reputation for punctuality, and since the busi- 
ness at Williamsburg was important, he fully expected 
that this wait would be a brief one. But the dinner hour 
passed, the sun sank lower into the west, and still Wash- 
ington lingered. At last in the warm dusk of the May 
evening, the faithful Bishop received orders to stable the 
horses for the night and the journey was postponed until 
the next day. 

There is something amusing in this scene of budding 
romance, although it is no wonder that Washington tar- 
ried. Martha Custis was beautiful, attractive and ac- 
complished. She has been described as being short, 
slightly plump and of engaging personality. Certainly 
the Colonel's interest in the lady was matched by her 
own interest in the renowned young soldier, and such 
mutual agreeableness was surely sufficient to crowd pro- 
saic business into the background. 

However, the governor had to be visited, so the next 
day found Washington on his way to Williamsburg. 
But as soon as the business which took him there was 
taken care of, the now fully smitten Colonel proceeded 
to the White House, the Custis home on the Pamunkey, 

314 Washington Bicentennial 

where it appears Mrs. Custis expected him. When he 
left there he must have been in high spirits, for he took 
with him the lady's promise to marry him as soon as 
he should finish his military service on the Ohio. 

Washington did not see his betrothed again for sev- 
eral months, for it was December before he returned 
from this expedition. His duties fulfilled, the Colonel 
resigned from the army and hastened plans for the wed- 
ding. It was during Washington's absence on the fron- 
tier that he wrote the only letter to Martha which alone 
remains of his prenuptial correspondence with her. This 
dignified and gravely tender note is dated Fort Cumber- 
land, July 20, 1758: 

"We have begun our march to the Ohio. A courier 
is starting for Williamsburg, and I embrace the oppor- 
tunity to send a few words to one whose life is now in- 
separable from mine. Since that happy hour when we 
made our pledges to each other, my thoughts have been 
continually going to you as to another self. That All- 
powerful Providence may keep us both in safety, is the 
prayer of your faithful and ever affectionate friend, 

G. Washington." 

It still is uncertain whether the marriage occurred in 
Saint Peter's Church or at the bride's home, the White 
House. At any rate, the Reverend Mr. Mossom, rector 
of Saint Peter's, officiated at the ceremony. Jared 
Sparks, one of Washington's earliest biographers, is the 
authority for the date of the wedding, which he estab- 
lished as January 6. But no matter whether the wedding 
took place at the White House or in the Church, it was 
a notable event and was attended by a great number of 
Virginia's prominent people. The governor himself was 

News Releases 315 

there with civil and military authorities, and many of 
the socially elite. Only a traditional account of the fes- 
tivities on that occasion exists today, but certainly the 
celebration left nothing lacking. 

Martha's wedding gown has been thus described by 
one writer: ". . . . a satin quilt, over which a heavy 
white silk, inter-woven with threads of silver, was looped 
back with white satin ribbons, richly brocaded in a leaf 
pattern. Her bodice was of plain satin, and the brocade 
was fastened on the bust with a stiff butterfly bow of 
the ribbon. Delicate lace finished the low, square neck. 
There were close elbow sleeves revealing a puff and frill 
of lace. Strings of pearls were woven in and out of her 
powdered hair. Her high-heeled slippers were of white 
satin, with brilliant buckles." 

The attractive appearance of the bride was equalled 
by that of the tall, well-built bridegroom. Always par- 
ticular over his dress, Washington, on this occasion, was 
elegantly arrayed and, according to all accounts, was 
the most gallantly magnificent figure in all that assem- 

At last Mount Vernon had a mistress, but months 
elapsed after the wedding before the young bride saw 
her future home. Washington had just been elected to 
the House of Burgesses so the young couple remained 
in Williamsburg while that Chamber remained in ses- 
sion until May. When Washington did return with his 
wife to his beautiful estate on the Potomac, the place 
became home to both of them for the remainder of their 

Washington's marriage was a singularly happy one. 
In Martha he found all those womanly qualities which 

316 Washington Bicentennial 

were needed to supplement those of his own character. 
Who can measure the value of the encouragement she 
must have given him during the weary days of the Revo- 
lution? Certainly she was always a faithful and de- 
voted wife, and the Father of his Country owed a great 
deal to her for the measure of success he attained. 
Among the anniversaries of the many important dates 
in the life of George Washington, this one of his wed- 
ding holds an element of human interest which no doubt 
is appreciated by all his countrymen. 

Martha Washington Gave Full Measure 
in Patriotic Service 

Martha Washington deserves the homage of the people 
of the United States to the end of time for the gracious 
poise and calm, womanly dignity with which she con- 
ducted her own full measure of patriotic service as the 
wife of the Commander in Chief of the Continental 
Army and of the first President of the new republic. 

As the very first "First Lady of the Land" she set a 
wonderful example of tact, diplomacy, wisdom, kindli- 
ness, zealous patriotism, industry and economy for her 
successors to follow. Never was she known to blunder, 
possessing a perfect mastery of every situation, her poise 
and dignity never left her. History carries no record 
of any national, international or local embarrassment or 
complication ever caused by Martha Washington's act 
or speech. Never did she handicap her husband's efforts 
or interfere with his plans. 

Just as each stage in George Washington's colorful 
career seemed to eventuate for the purpose of prepar- 

News Releases 317 

ing him for the more important service he was to per- 
form, so the pattern of his wife's life unfolded and 
adapted itself to support and supplement his own activi- 
ties, and their union of 40 years presents to the world 
a delightful picture of marital partnership and mutual 

Historians seem to differ as to her birthdate. Some 
say she was born in May, 1732, the same year that Wash- 
ington was born, while others give the date as June 2, 
1731. However, she was the eldest of a family of sev- 
eral boys and girls born to Colonel John Dandridge and 
his wife. 

At the time Martha Dandridge was growing up, "Wil- 
liamsburg, Va., was the social center of the colony. Wil- 
liam and Mary College, the governor's mansion, Bruton 
Church and the Capitol building being the main points 
of attraction around which swept the social and cultural 
tides of the most aristocratic and most typically English 
social circle of America, made up of rich planters, many 
of whom sent their sons to England to be educated, had 
their daughters tutored at home and lived as became the 
King's most loyal subjects. In this atmosphere Martha 
Dandridge was reared. 

She is said to have been vivacious, impetuous, witty, 
and to have through life drawn to herself deep and dis- 
interested affection. Small and slender, like the women 
of her family, with light brown hair and hazel eyes, she 
presented a petite and dainty figure at the age of 15, in 
her debutante dress with its stiff bodice and flowered 
silken petticoat as she courtsied to the gentlemen and 
ladies of Governor Gooch's official family. 

She was a good dancer, played the spinet, was well 

318 Washington Bicentennial 

versed in all of the intricacies of needlework and was 
trained to manage a substantial and well-ordered home 
with its slaves. In addition to being a fine horsewoman, 
she enjoyed the sports and frolics prevalent in social 

Natural and gracious in manner, she enjoyed a belle- 
ship, with many suitors, that was crowned by her mar- 
riage at 17 to the wealthy Daniel Custis, 20 years her 
senior, who, according to the gossip of the day, was the 
most desirable matrimonial prize in the colony because 
of his great wealth and the importance of his family. 
Four children were born to them, two of whom died in 
infancy, and in 1757 death claimed the never robust 
Daniel Custis. He left his young wife, of 26 years, with 
two little children, John Parke and Martha, and one of 
the largest estates of the colony. 

A year later she met Col. George Washington at 
the home of a neighbor, Major Chamberlayne. It was a 
case of love at first sight for both of them, and soon 
after their betrothal was announced. They were mar- 
ried January 6, 1759, the wedding being one of the 
smartest social events of the colony. 

From the day of their marriage to the day of his death, 
Martha Washington devoted her life to the promotion 
of the comfort and welfare of her husband. His wishes 
were her law, and when harassed and driven to the 
breaking point by the problems of his official life, she 
was his confidant. In her calm sympathy and warm 
partisanship he found just the comfort and inspiration 
he needed and her ever-present practical common sense 
helped to clarify many complexities for him. 

Washington's appreciation of her never waned and, 

News Releases 319 

after his death his servant removed her miniature from 
his neck. He had worn it for 40 years. 

George Washington, Fisherman 

The newspapers recently announced the publication 
of "A Remedy for Disappearing Game Fish," a book 
describing the delights of fishing, by our President, Her- 
bert Hoover. 

The Division of Information of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, the Com- 
mission established for the purpose of formulating plans 
for the National Celebration in 1932 of the Two Hun- 
dredth Anniversary of the Birth of George Washington, 
points out that the first President of the United States 
was also an ardent fisherman. 

Washington fished both as a sport, and as a business. 
While at Mount Vernon, he supervised the fishing for 
herring, white fish and shad. The Potomac River of- 
fered up these fish in great quantities. After removing 
a sufficient amount for the people on his plantation, 
Washington bartered the rest for other goods or sent 
them to market. 

But it was fishing as a sport which furnished Wash- 
ington with pleasure and relaxation. In his diaries we 
find numerous references to fishing parties. Under the 
date of August 29, 1768, we read: "Went into Macho- 
dack Ck. fishing." Again, on September 3, 1770, he 
records: "Went in the Evening a fishing with my Broth- 
ers Saml. and Charles." 

In September of 1784, Washington left Mount Ver- 
non on a business trip to his lands west of the Appa- 

320 Washington Bicentennial 

lachian Mountains. As it was an extremely arduous 
journey, only the bare necessities for the trip were taken. 
But we find that his fishing lines were included in the 

When the Federal Convention, meeting in the sum- 
mer of 1787 in Philadelphia, recessed from July 26 to 
August 6, to give the special committee a chance to 
draft the Constitution as proposed in the Convention, 
Washington made plans for a fishing trip. 

Washington was President of the Federal Convention. 
For weeks the debates were heated and the wrangling 
was distressing. Washington's position as President was 
indeed a difficult and tiring one. Fishing would provide 
the necessary relaxation. 

So, we find in Washington's diary, of July 30, 1787: 
"In company with Mr. Govr. (Gouverneur). Morris 
and in his Phaeton with my horses, went up to one, Jane 
Moore's, [in whose house we lodged] in the vicinity of 
Valley Forge to get Trout." 

Again, on August 3: "In company with Mr. Robt. 
Morris and his Lady, and Mr. Gouvr. Morris I went up 
to Trenton on another Fishing party. In the Evening 
fished, not very successfully." 

In the fall of 1789, Washington was making a Presi- 
dential good-will tour of the Eastern States. On his 
way to view the harbor at Portsmouth, Washington was 
thinking of fishing, for he said in his diary: 

"Having lines, we proceeded to the Fishing banks a 
little without the Harbour, and fished for Cod; but it 
not being a proper time of tide, we only caught two, 
with w'ch, about 1 o'clock, we returned to Town." 

On May 10, 1790, Washington was taken with a se- 

News Releases 321 

vere illness, due most likely, to excessive work. For a 
time it was not expected that he would live. Even the 
doctors had given up hope. But Washington once again 
showed his tremendous resistance power, and he "pulled 
through." A short vacation was mandatory, and what 
could be better for a convalescent than a sailing trip 
combined with the sport of fishing? On June 7, Wash- 
ington, accompanied by Thomas Jefferson and several 
other friends, set out. 

The Pennsylvania Packet, of June 12, 1790, reports 
the trip as follows: 

"Yesterday afternoon the President of the United 
States returned from Sandy Hook and the fishing banks, 
where he had been for the benefit of the sea air, and to 
amuse himself in the delightful recreation of fishing. 
We are told he has had excellent sport, having himself 
caught a great number of sea-bass and black fish — the 
weather proved remarkably fine, which, together with 
the salubrity of the air and wholesome exercise, rendered 
this little voyage extremely agreeable, and cannot fail, 
we hope, of being very serviceable to a speedy and com- 
plete restoration of his health." 

Washington Sent Money to Madame Lafayette 
in 1793 

Of all the men whom the fortunes of war brought 
across George Washington's path there was none who 
became nearer to him than Lafayette. The generous, 
high-spirited young Frenchman, full of fresh enthu- 
siasm and brave as a lion, appealed at once to Washing- 
ton's heart. 

322 Washington Bicentennial 

Washington quickly admitted the gallant Frenchman 
to his confidence, and the excellent service of Lafayette 
in the field, together with his invaluable help in securing 
the French alliance, deepened and strengthened the sym- 
pathy and affection which were entirely reciprocal. 
After Lafayette departed, a constant correspondence 
was maintained, and when the Bastille fell, it was to 
Washington that Lafayette sent its key, which still hangs 
on the wall of one of the rooms at Mount Vernon. 

As Lafayette rose rapidly to the dangerous heights 
of leadership in the French Revolution, he had at every 
step Washington's advice and sympathy. When the tide 
turned and Lafayette fell headlong from power, ending 
up in an Austrian prison, Washington spared no pains 
to help him, although his own position was one of ex- 
treme difficulty. Lafayette was not only the proscribed 
exile of one country, but also the political prisoner of 
another, and President Washington could not compro- 
mise the United States at that critical moment by show- 
ing too much interest in the fate of his unhappy friend. 
He nevertheless went to the very edge of prudence in 
trying to save him, and the ministers of the United 
States were instructed to use every private effort to se- 
cue Lafayette's release, or at least the mitigation of his 
confinement. All these attempts failed, but Washing- 
ton was more successful in other directions. 

Washington sent money to Madam de Lafayette who 
was absolutely without funds at the time, and repre- 
sented to her that it was in settlement of an account 
which he owed the Marquis. On January 31, 1793, he 
wrote to her, saying: 

"If I had words that could convey to you an adequate 

News Releases 323 

idea of my feeling on the present situation of the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette, this letter would appear to you in a 
different garb. The sole object in writing to you now 
is, to inform you that I have deposited in the hands of 
Mr. Nicholas Van Staphorst, of Amsterdam, two thou- 
sand three hundred and ten guilders, Holland currency, 
equal to two hundred guineas, subject to your order. 

"This sum is, I am certain, the least I am indebted for 
services rendered to me by the Marquis de Lafayette, 
of which I never yet have received the account. I could 
add much, but it is best perhaps that I should say little 
on this subject. Your goodness will supply my defi- 

"The uncertainty of your situation, after all the in- 
quiries I have made, has occasioned a delay in this address 
and remittance; and even now the measure adopted is 
more the effect of a desire to find where you are, than 
from any knowledge I have obtained of your residence." 

When Lafayette's son and his own namesake, George 
Washington Lafayette, came to this country for a haven 
of safety, President Washington had him cared for in 
Boston and New York by his personal friends; George 
Cabot in the one case, and Alexander Hamilton in the 
other. As soon as public affairs made it appear proper 
for him to do it, he took the lad into his own household, 
treated him as a son, and kept him near him until events 
permitted the boy to return to Europe and rejoin his 

The sufferings and dangers of Lafayette and his fam- 
ily were indeed a source of great unhappiness to Wash- 
ington, and it is said upon the authority of Attorney 

324 Washington Bicentennial 

General Bradford, that when the President attempted 
to talk about Lafayette, he was so much affected that he 
shed tears — a very rare exhibition of emotion in a man 
so intensely reserved. 

Washington Bought a Chariot by Mail 

"President Washington, with a team of horses and a 
chariot, visited more States than some Presidents have 
in automobiles," smiled Congressman Daniel A. Reed, 
of New York, while lunching with a group of news- 
papermen at the National Press Club in Washington. 

"What a traveler he would have been if he had had 
an auto!" 

Representative Reed is the man who gained fame 
some years ago as the coach of the Cornell football team, 
and also as the champion heavyweight amateur wrestler 
of the United States. 

"All of this newspaper material sent throughout the 
land by the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission telling about the celebration of 
Washington's two hundredth birthday next year, from 
February 22 to Thanksgiving Day, has aroused my in- 
terest in that great man," continued Reed. "Fve been 
reading everything I can find about him. Yesterday I 
found this letter written by him in 1768 ordering a 
chariot from London: 

" To Robert Cary & Co. 

" 'Gentlemen: My old chariot having run its race, 
and gone through as many stages as I could conveniently 
make it travel, is now rendered incapable of any further 
service. The intent of this letter, therefore, is to de- 

News Releases 325 

sire you will bespeak me a new one, time enough to come 
out with the goods (I shall hereafter write for) by 
Captn. Johnston, or some other ship. 

" 'As these are kind of articles that last with care 
against number of years, I would willingly have the 
chariot you may now send me made in the newest taste, 
handsome, genteel and light; yet not slight, and conse- 
quently unserviceable; to be made of the best seasoned 
wood, and by a celebrated workman. The last importa- 
tion which I have seen, besides the customary steel 
springs, have others that play in a brass barrel and con- 
tribute at one and the same time to the ease and orna- 
ment of the carriage. One of this kind, therefore, would 
be my choice; and green being a color little apt, as I 
apprehend, to fade, and grateful to the eye, I would 
give it the preference, unless any other color more in 
vogue and equally lasting is entitled to precedency. In 
that case I would be governed by fashion. A light gild- 
ing on the mouldings (that is, round the panels) and 
any other ornaments, that may not have a heavy and 
tawdry look (together with my arms agreeable to the 
impression here sent) might be added, by way of deco- 
ration. A lining of handsome, lively colored leather of 
good quality I should also prefer, such as green, blue, or 
&c, as may best suit the color of the outside. Let the 
box that slips under the seat be as large as it conveniently 
can be made (for the benefit of storage upon a journey) , 
and to have a pole (not shafts) for the wheel horses to 
draw by; together with a handsome set of harness for 
four middle sized horses ordered in such a manner as 
to suit either two postilions (without a box) , or a box 
and a postilion. The box being made to fix on, and take 

326 Washington Bicentennial 

off occasionally, with a hammel cloth &c, suitable to 
the lining. On the harness let my crest be engraved. 

" l If such a chariot as I have here described could be 
got at second hand, little or nothing the worse for wear, 
but at the same time a good deal under the first cost 
of a new one (and sometimes though perhaps rarely it 
happens so) , it would be very desirable, but if I am 
obliged to go near to the original cost, I would even have 
one made, and have been thus particular in hopes of get- 
ting a handsome chariot through your direction, good 
taste and management — not of copper, however, for 
these do not stand the powerful heat of our sun.' " 

Secretary Hyde Tells About Washington's Plows 

"The modern farmer, who is always trying new farm 
methods, can certainly claim kinship of spirit with 
George Washington," Secretary of Agriculture Hyde 
remarked with conviction. 

The Secretary had been consulted by a representa- 
tive of the Division of Information and Publication of 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, for light on the workings of a certain plow 
which Washington mentions in his Diaries as of his own 
invention. The query had set Secretary Hyde to a new 
reading of Washington's journals and correspondence, 
with the result of convincing him that scientific re- 
search in agriculture had a firm friend and constant 
practitioner in the Nation's first President. 

"Washington," said Secretary Hyde, "was apparently 
moved to experiment on his broad acres partly because 
of dissatisfaction with farm practice then prevailing, 
and partly because he wanted so to farm his lands as 

News Releases 327 

to leave them in better shape than when he acquired 
them. I find that in 1786 he wrote to Arthur Young, 
editor of the English Annals" of Agriculture, as follows: 

" 'The system of agriculture, if it deserves the epithet 
of system, which is in use in this part of the United 
States, is as unproductive to the practitioners as it is 
ruinous to landholders. Yet it is pertinaciously adhered 
to. To forsake it; to pursue a course of husbandry, 
which is altogether different, and new to the gazing 
multitude, ever averse to novelty in matters of this sort, 
and much attached to the customs of their forefathers, 
requires resolution, and, without a good practical guide, 
may be dangerous; because, of the many volumes which 
have been written on this subject, few have been founded 
on experimental knowledge; are verbose, contradictory, 
and bewildering. Your Annals, therefore, shall be this 

"Feeling as he did," Secretary Hyde continued, "and 
having no State or Federal agricultural research bodies 
to turn to, Washington conducted his own research, 
with his own farm as a laboratory. What he wanted 
to know about this or that new crop of machine or cul- 
tural method, he had to find out mainly for himself. 
From the Annals, and from a few other such sources, 
Washington derived many suggestions, but he accepted 
them with reservations, subject to actual test on his own 

"Thus we find him, in the fall of 1764, sowing f a few 
Oats' to see if they would stand the 'winter,' and find- 
ing, of course, that they wouldn't. He made many 
experiments with Lucerne — which we know as alfalfa. 
He tried winter wheat and barley and spelt. He at- 

328 Washington Bicentennial 

tempted to utilize marie, mud from the river bottoms, 
and composts of various sorts, as fertilizer. 

"But plows especially drew his attention, for the 
plows of Washington's day were cumbersome, inefficient, 
and altogether exasperating. In March, 1760, Wash- 
ington jotted down, for example, 'Fitted a two Eyed 
Plow instead of a Duck Bill Plow.' But this new model 
was on the whole a failure, so a little later we find him 
recording, 'Spent the greater part of the day in mak- 
ing a plow of my own invention.' The next day he 
tried the plow 'and found She answered very well.' 

"But a greater difficulty for Washington," Secretary 
Hyde went on, "was finding a machine to do what the 
modern grain drill does at planting time. Washington 
finally developed, evidently from hints gathered from 
his reading and correspondence with Arthur Young and 
others what he called a barrel plow. 

"At that time all grain seed had to be sown by hand, 
then covered with a harrow or a hoe. Washington 
wanted a machine for this purpose, both to save labor 
and to do the job more efficiently. His barrel plow con- 
sisted of a hollow cylinder of wood, mounted on a wheel 
plow, so arranged that as the plow moved forward the 
barrel turned. In this barrel Washington cut holes for 
the seed to run down the tubes into the ground. The 
thickness or thinning of the sowing he could determine, 
roughly, by the number of holes left open in the barrel. 

"Much experiment with this crude drill convinced 
Washington that it was necessary to make these holes 
larger on the outside than on the inside of the barrel, 
and that the barrel worked better if not kept too full 

News Releases 329 

of seed. A harrow followed the drill, to cover the seed 
with soil. 

"The drill must have worked fairly well," Secretary 
Hyde smiled as he called up the picture of Washington's 
"own Invention," "even though at times it must have 
acted up and prompted the operator to indulge in a few 
expletives. Washington wrote to a friend that the drill 
would not 'work to good effect in land that is very full 
of either stumps, stones, or large clods; but, where the 
ground is tolerably free from these and in good tilth, 
and particularly in light land, I am certain you will find 
it equal to your most sanguine expectations, for Indian 
corn, wheat, barley, pease, or any other tolerably round 
grain, that you may wish to sow or plant in this man- 

"Though the modern farmer knows many things that 
Washington could not know," Secretary Hyde ended, 
"a rereading of his life and experiments as a farmer must 
be of constant interest and inspiration." 

Senator Capper Discusses Washington's Farm 

Senator Capper pushed back his chair from a desk 
heaped with papers and repeated the question asked 
him: "What does the American farmer of today owe 
to George Washington, the farmer?" 

Few members of the Senate are better qualified to 
answer a question that should interest every farmer in 
the country, for Senator Capper is acquainted first hand 
with farmers and their problems and has been deeply 
interested in the legislation of the past two years in the 
farmer's interest. 

330 Washington Bicentennial 

"Well," the farmer-legislator thought for a moment, 
"if you think of it, Washington did set the first example 
in American farming. The farmers of today, as I know 
them, are too everlastingly busy with current history 
to look back a century or two. I know that's the case 
with me. And yet," the Senator thought on, "they 
should do that. 

"The American farmer of today," he settled back to 
say, "has every reason to feel toward Washington, the 
farmer, an almost filial respect and duty. In his occu- 
pation, at least, he's a lineal descendant of the foremost 
farmer of a century and more ago. If modern inven- 
tion enables the farmer of today to improve on the 
methods of Washington's time, nevertheless Washing- 
ton's example in experiment and pioneering remains the 
same. It could hardly be improved upon," the Senator 
smilingly asserted, "but the modern farmer has carried 
on that pioneering spirit unabated." 

As his thought on the subject shaped itself, the Sena- 
tor went on, "The modern farmer can feel a sympathy 
for Washington because Washington's problems as a 
farmer sound like the problems, the aims of every farmer 
of the present. If memory serves me, Washington's ex- 
periences with one of the great farms of his time was 
not an unbroken record of successes. 

"To begin with, Washington's land was not the finest 
soil in the young country. Many a farmer of today 
has to face the same discouragement. And like Wash- 
ington, he does struggle against the handicap. That is 
one bond of sympathy between them. 

"But perhaps the closest parallel between Washing- 
ton and the modern American farmer is the fact that 

News Releases 331 

both knew the worries and vexations of declining prices 
as the result of a production above the capacity of the 
market to consume. It sounds very modern to read in 
Washington's diary his complaints at the falling returns 
from his tobacco. His problems and those of the pres- 
ent day farmer may differ in technical detail, but in es- 
sentials they are the same. 

"After all, the farmer of today buys with his wheat 
or his corn what he wants and needs. He may first con- 
vert his grain into money; still, whatever the means of 
purchase, it's the farmer's product that supplies him 
with buying power. In Washington's day that was 
more directly the case. The Nation was then undevel- 
oped and without an efficient monetary system, and to- 
bacco itself had to serve in place of cash. So Washing- 
ton, as he himself complains, felt it when the value of 
his crops shrank, and he had to offer more of it 
for goods or for cash in return. If Washington were 
to return today, he and a hundred thousand of our 
farmers could talk in terms of perfect understanding. 

"Yes," the Senator said, to emphasize the point, 
"Washington would understand our farmers perfectly. 
Thousands of them may never have had time to read 
of Washington's farming experience, but they are go- 
ing through the same experiences today. As I recall 
it, Washington was a tireless experimenter. He sent to 
Europe for the newest books on the science and practice 
of agriculture. He imported new and better seeds and 
cuttings. He read up on new and better formulas for 
fertilizer. He even mixed experimental varieties of 
compost with his own hands. In every sense of the 
word he was a dirt farmer. 

332 Washington Bicentennial 

"And today," the Senator brought out with convic- 
tion, "Washington would find his successors on the 
American farm just as progressive. The farmer of the 
present is just as eager and quick to adopt new and bet- 
ter methods. He no longer reads European authorities, 
because his own periodicals are as good or better. But 
the point is, he reads them. He forever experiments 
with the means to produce better crops. And in one 
respect he has an advantage that Washington never 
knew — the advantage of time and labor-saving ma- 

A new turn to his thinking amused the Senator. 
"Washington's efforts at advanced farming were not 
unvaryingly successful. The fact is, he had to com- 
plain of a rather high percentage of disappointments. 
It was only natural, of course. In Washington's day 
agriculture was still somewhat primitive. In the light 
of modern practice it was without benefit of the ac- 
cumulation of broad scientific knowledge and experi- 
ence that we enjoy today. If Washington were to re- 
turn today, the average American farmer could show 
him a thing or two — probably to Washington's mingled 
envy and delight. He might regret that he could not 
have profited by what we now know, but he would be 
the first to rejoice at the progress made. 

"But the thing that would most please Washington," 
said Senator Capper, "would be our epic conquest of 
the great West and the reduction of its wonderful soil 
to production. To me," the Senator mused, "there is 
something infinitely touching in Washington's hunger 
for as much of that fertile Western soil as he could pos- 
sess. The continental West as we know it he never saw, 

News Releases 333 

but he had more than glimpsed the Ohio Valley, and 
sensed what lay beyond. He sent his agents to lay claim 
to as much as he could handle of the better land beyond 
the Alleghenies, and throughout his correspondence dur- 
ing the Revolution he returns again and again to his 
anxiety to safeguard his holdings. His heart and his 
business sense both lured him in that direction, in the 
conviction that there the great development of the 
country would center. 

"Today," the Senator observed with satisfaction, "the 
people of my section of the country would convince 
Washington that he was right! For every reason and 
in every sense of the word they would make him feel 
at home. He would be among people, too, who are after 
his own kind. As farmers, at least, they have had every 
experience that fell to Washington. 

"You have only to glance through Washington's 
diaries to see how quickly they would understand each 
other. Out of those intimate jottings speaks the real 
George Washington, farmer, and what a modern lan- 
guage he speaks!" 

The Senator referred to one of the volumes, price- 
less because so revealing, and read: "June 16, 1768. Be- 
gan to cut my Timothy Meadow at Doeg Run and did 
not finish it till the 8 th July — the weather being Rainy 
and bad — which almost spoiled 30,000 weight of Hay. 

"On July 25th he records that he found rust in a 28- 
acre field of wheat, and adds this note: Trom the most 
accurate experiments I could make this year upon Wheat 
seized with the Rust before it is fully formd and be- 
ginning to Harden, it appears to be a matter of very 
little consequence whether it is cut down so soon as it 

334 Washington Bicentennial 

is seized with this distemper (I mean the parts of the 
field that are so) or suffered to stand; for in either case 
the grain perishes and has little or no flower in it.' He 
meant flour," the Senator interpolated, with a smile for 
Washington's spelling, and finished the quotation, 

'That indeed which is suffered to stand may gain a 
little, and but a little, in respect to the grain, and the 
other in respect to the straw; so that I think it is nearly 
equal wch. of the two methods is followed.' 

"Many a farmer of today is as close a student," the 
Senator said, smiling as he leafed through the book. 
"And many a modern farmer will listen with sympathy 
to such a passage as this: 'Eliab Roberts, William Acres, 
Joseph Wilson and Azel Martin set into work today and 
I think worked but indifferently.' So Washington had 
his complaints against farmhands, too. But here, I 
think," Senator Capper exulted over his finds, "are two 
entries that reveal the man that Washington the farmer 
must have been — shrewd, observant, the instinctive busi- 
ness man, forever trying what would best serve his ad- 

" 'Noted,' " Senator Capper quoted from the book, 

' 'that when Pease are sown the ground should be rolled 
smooth so that the pods can be raked up, with time 
saved from picking them up by hand.' There is the 
great man watchful of the minutest details. And here 
in another small detail is the inveterate experimenter. 
In an entry dated December 6, 1787, Washington re- 
cords: 'Three plows at work. In one I put the she mule 
which worked very well. The horse mule is intended 
also for this plantation.' 

"It's just such homely touches," the Senator leaned 

News Releases 33 5 

back to say in concluding, "that would make Washing- 
ton a man among men if he could return today among 
the people of my section. When you think of it," Sena- 
tor Capper lighted up with sudden feeling, "what bet- 
ter tribute coulo! we pay the man than in saying so 
often to ourselves, 'If Washington could return today'? 
Isn't it a new measure of our respect and affection for 
the man that we wish so much he could come again, 
so that we might show him what we, as stewards, have 
done with the great trust he built up and placed in our 

"We may have made mistakes in judgment," the Sena- 
tor finished, "we may not always wisely control the 
great economic forces we have unloosed with our mod- 
ern science and invention; but on the whole I believe 
Washington would approve what we have made of the 
country he fathered." 

George Washington Branded His Cattle 

Senator Tom Connally, who hails from Texas, the 
greatest cattle State in the country, has made, accord- 
ing to the Division of Information and Publication of 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, an exhaustive study of George Washing- 
ton's experiences in producing and handling cattle. 

Recently while chatting on this subject with a group 
of Senators and Representatives, Connally declared that 
Washington in his day branded his cattle just as do the 
cattlemen of Texas and other sections of the West at 
the present time. 

A Representative from the East smiled at this state- 

336 Washington Bicentennial 

ment and said he would like to have a little proof before 
he could swallow any Washington cattle-branding story. 

"Well," smiled the handsome six-footer from the Lone 
Star State, "I might know that a man from the effete 
East, whose knowledge of cattle is limited to the little 
jug of diluted cream on his breakfast table, would have 
no knowledge of matters of this kind." 

Walking over to his bookcase, Connally pulled down 
a volume of Washington's Diaries and read the follow- 
ing items as recorded by the hand of the famous Mount 
Vernon farmer and cattleman. 

" 'Nov. 1, 1765 — Sent one bull, 18 cows and 5 calves 
to Doeg Run in all — 24 head branded on ye but- 
tock GW. 

" 'Sent 5 cows and 29 yearlings and calves to the Mill, 
which with 4 there makes 27 head in all viz. 5 cows and 
22 calves and yearlings branded on the right shoul- 
der GW. 

" 'Out of the Frederick cattle made the stock in the 
Neck up to 100 head — these branded on the right but- 
tock GW. 

" 'Muddy Hole cattle branded on the left shoul- 
der GW.' " 

"Butter," said Senator Connally, "always seemed to 
be a problem with Washington. Despite the fact that 
there were always several hundred cows roaming his pas- 
tures it was frequently necessary for him to buy butter. 
I notice from his diary that during the winter of 1760 
he was often short of that important article. On Janu- 
ary 7th he writes: 'Accompanied Mrs. Bassett to Alex- 
andria and engaged a keg of butter of Mr. Kirkpatrick, 

News Releases 337 

being quite out of that article.' And the next day he 
says: 'Got a little butter from Mr. Dalton.' On Sun- 
day, January 20, he not only received more butter but 
other supplies. Listen to this: 'My wagon, after leav- 
ing two hogsheads of tobacco at Alexandria, arrived 
here with three sides of sole leather and four of upper 
leather, two kegs of butter, one of which for Colonel 
Fairfax, and fifteen bushels of salt.' 

"Of course it must be remembered that they really 
used butter in Washington's time. They did not put 
a little dab of it on a piece of bread — they slathered it 
on in generous quantities. 

"Washington, I am convinced, was just as shrewd a 
trader in cattle as are any cattlemen of the present time. 
I note from his diary that in 1760 he 'went down to 
Occoquan, by appointment, to look at Colonel Cock's 
cattle, but Mr. Peake's being from home I made no 
agreement for them, not caring to give the price he 
asked for them/ 

"Twenty-six years later in 1786 he made a trade in 
which I am convinced he got a shade the best of the 
bargain. His diary tells the story in these words: 'Sent 
up to Abingdon for a young bull of extraordinary make, 
for which I have exchanged and given a young heifer 
of the same age.' " 

Farmer Washington Also Suffered From Drought 

Senator Morris Sheppard, of Texas, happened to fall 
into conversation the other day with a representative 
of the Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission. The Senator represents the largest agricultural 

338 Washington Bicentennial 

State in the Union, and quite naturally the subject of 
George Washington as a farmer came to his mind. 

"We're all inclined to look on our burdens as the first 
and worst of their kind," said the Senator. "And no 
doubt the disastrous drought of last year, that laid a 
blight over a great section of the country and caused 
distress and loss, might be set down as one of the out- 
standing afflictions in our history. But the records show 
that these cycles of rain deficiency are of fairly regu- 
lar recurrence. George Washington himself was a suf- 
ferer from these periodic failures in what the weather 
man calls precipitation. 

"He took a mighty hard blow," Senator Sheppard 
reflected. "The other day I came across a letter that 
Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to a friend of 
his. The letter was dated April 4, 1788, and it impressed 
me so that I had it copied. Here it is." The Senator 
drew from his pocket a typewritten sheet. "In this 
letter Washington discloses that he knew very well what 
it was to lose nearly the whole of his crops. It's an in- 
teresting revelation of the man and his trials. He says," 
the Senator read: 

" 'Dear Sir: I am very sorry I have not yet been able 
to discharge my account with the James River Com- 
pany, for the amount of which you presented me with 
an order. 

" 'The almost total loss of my crop last year by the 
drought, which has obliged me to purchase upwards of 
eight hundred barrels of corn, and my other numerous 
and necessary demands for cash, when I find it impos- 
sible to obtain what is due to me by any means, have 
caused me more perplexity and given me more uneasi- 

News Releases 339 

ness than I ever experienced before from want of money. 
In addition of these disappointments which I have met 
with from those who are indebted to me, I have in my 
hand a number of indents and other public securities, 
which I have received from time to time as the inter- 
est of some Continental loan-office certificates, which 
are in my possession. . . 

"That was in 1788," the Senator continued. "Exactly 
eleven years later, in 1799, the last year of Washington's ' 
life, he suffered again from drought. What he has to 
say of that experience will interest every farmer of to- 
day. I had copied for me this letter that Washington 
wrote to a friend, dated Aug. 17, 1799." The Senator 
read it as follows: 

'The drought has been so excessive on this estate 
that I have made no oats — and if it continues a few days 
longer, I shall make no corn. I have cut little or no 
grass; and my meadows, at this time, are as bare as the 
pavements; of consequence no second crop can be ex- 
pected. These things will compel me, I expect, to re- 
duce the mouths that feed on my hay.' 

"Doesn't that sound as if written last year?" Senator 
Sheppard remarked. "That last line in Washington's 
letter completes the parallel between his experience and 
the loss of our farmers who were compelled to sell their 
livestock for lack of the means to feed them. 

"So even George Washington, one of the wealthiest 
men of his time," the Senator reflected, "knew what it 
was to take a crippling loss at the hands of Nature. And 
in the first letter I read you," the Senator smiled, "Wash- 
ington sounds a note that will make him understandable 
to many a present-day American outside the farming 

340 Washington Bicentennial 

circle. Even the Father of His Country knew what it 
was to be behind with his bills, and had to put up his 
own equivalent of a modern hard-luck story to ac- 
count for his lack of cash. It's just another one of those 
homely touches," the Senator ended, "that should en- 
dear George Washington to every American, and arouse 
deep interest in the celebration of his two hundredth 
birthday which will extend from February 22 until 
Thanksgiving Day of next year. 

Washington Tried Siberian and South African Wheat 

That George Washington remained at heart a farmer 
throughout his life we know from no less an authority 
than Washington himself, says the Division of Informa- 
tion and Publication of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission. 

The evidence exists on nearly every page of the long 
row of diaries in which Washington covered all his per- 
sonal activities almost without a break from young man- 
hood to the final days. 

He was not simply any kind of farmer, either, but 
an alert and progressive one. Even during the Revolu- 
tionary War he appears to have kept his eyes open to 
farming methods in various sections of the country, 
and came home with the belief that Virginia farming 
had much to learn from methods in use in other States. 

In more than one of his letters to friends he comments 
on the Virginia habit of working farms to death, and 
notes the Virginia farmer's failure to devote some of 
his land to meadow and grazing, for the raising of cattle, 
as he had seen this done in the northern regions. 

On his own plantations Washington was forever 

News Releases 341 

reaching out for new and better seeds for planting. He 
imported new types of fruit trees and vines, even rare 
trees for the beautification of his grounds. He tried 
alfalfa, then known as Lucerne. But of chief interest 
was his effort to improve the quality of wheat grown 
in the United States. He reached into far quarters of 
the globe for experimental seeds. 

Thus, in an entry in his Diaries on April 10, 1768, 
we find: "Began also to sow the Siberian Wheat which 
I had obtained from Baltimore by means of Colo. Tilgh- 
man, at the Ferry Plantation in the ground laid apart 
there for experiments." This, by the way, he sowed 
with the famous "barrel plow" of his own invention, a 
combined plow, drill, and harrow. And he gives a mi- 
nute account of the care he used in giving this seed from 
far Siberia a chance to show what it could do in Vir- 

In 1785, after the Revolution, when he had returned 
to Mount Vernon and to his beloved farming, this zeal 
for experiment was with him still. In an entry in his 
Diary for August 30, that year, he records that "I 
planted in a small piece of ground which I had prepared 
below the stable (vineyard) about 1,000 grains of the 
Cape of Good Hope wheat (which was given to me by 
Colo. Spaight) , in Rows 2 feet apart, and 5 inches dis- 
tant in the Rows." 

On Saturday, August 31, 1785, he notes: "The Cape 
of Good Hope Wheat, which I sowed on Saturday, was 
perceived to be coming up today." On September 1, 
the following day, he "planted the remainder of the 
Wheat from the Cape of Good Hope, leaving 230 grains 
to replant the missing seeds, and some that had been 

342 Washington Bicentennial 

washed up by the rain; the whole number of grains 
given me by Colo. Spaight amounting to 2476; which 
in measure, might be about half a Gill." The painstak- 
ing Farmer Washington had even counted the number 
of these rare grains of his gift! 

On October, 1785, he sowed about a pint of Cape of 
Good Hope wheat, this time sent him by Mr. Powell, 
of Philadelphia. By early November Washington "per- 
ceived that the Cape of Good Hope Wheat which I 
sowed on the 19th of last March had come up very well." 
For nearly two years he had his eye on this South Af- 
rican wheat. By September, 1786, "the hands at Dogue 
Run had been employed in putting in about a bushel 
and a half of the Cape Wheat raised below my Stables" — 
proving that the seeds there planted in August the year 
before had delivered the goods. 

What became of the new brand of wheat we do not 
know, for in not very long Washington was again called 
to the cares of state when a devoted people unanimously 
chose him to be their first President. But the evidence 
remains that when the destiny that directed his eventful 
and dramatic life did grant him the opportunity to farm 
his beloved fields, he was among the most progressive 
agriculturists of his day. 

Mount Vernon Named for British Admiral 

Mount Vernon, the home and estate of George 
Washington, undoubtedly the most famous shrine in 
American history, was named after Admiral Edward 
Vernon, of the British Navy, according to the Division 
of Information and Publication of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

News Releases 343 

Lawrence Washington, half-brother of George, and 
owner of the estate, served in the British Army before 
Carthagena, where Admiral Vernon was naval com- 
mander. His admiration for the English admiral in- 
duced him to call his estate Mount Vernon. Lawrence 
Washington died in July, 1752, at the early age of 34 
years, leaving a wife and infant daughter. The Mount 
Vernon estate was bequeathed to that daughter, and in 
the event of her decease without issue the property was 
to pass into the absolute possession of George, to whom, 
in his will, Lawrence had entrusted the chief care of 
his affairs, although he was the youngest executor. He 
was then only 20 years of age. 

The daughter did not long survive her father, and 
Mount Vernon became the property of George Wash- 
ington. In a letter to a friend in London, Washington 
wrote of his estate in 1793: 

"No estate in United America, is more pleasantly 
situated than this. It lies in a high, dry and healthy 
country * * * on one of the finest rivers in the 
world. Its margin is washed by more than ten miles of 
tide water. * * * It is situated in a latitude between 
the extremes of heat and cold. * * * Several valu- 
able fisheries appertain to the estate; the whole shore, in 
short, is one entire fishery." 

Washington as a Manufacturer 
While much has been written about George Wash- 
ington's ability as a farmer and agriculturalist, it is not 
generally known that on the vast estate at Mount Ver- 
non, housing more than 300 persons, he was also classed 
as a manufacturer and, incidentally, marketed large 

344 Washington Bicentennial 

quantities of fish, according to the Division of Informa- 
tion and Publication of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission. 

The magnitude of the charge of such an estate can 
be better understood when the condition of a Virginia 
planter is realized. Before the Revolution, practically 
everything the plantation could not produce was or- 
dered yearly from Great Britain, and after the annual 
delivery of the invoices, the estate could look for little 
outside help. This system compelled each plantation 
to be a little world unto itself; indeed, the 300 persons 
on the Mount Vernon estate went far to make it an in- 
dependent and self-supporting community, and one of 
Washington's standing orders to his overseers was to 
"buy nothing you can make yourselves." Thus the 
planting and gathering of the crops were but a small 
part of the work to be done. 

A corp of workmen — some Negroes, some indentured 
servants, and some hired laborers — were kept on the es- 
tate. A blacksmith shop occupied some of them, do- 
ing not merely the work of the plantation, but what- 
ever business was brought to them from outside; and 
a wood burner kept them and the mansion-house sup- 
plied with charcoal. A gang of carpenters were kept 
busy, and their spare time was utilized in framing houses 
to be put up in Alexandria, Va., or in the "Federal City," 
as the City of Washington was called before the death 
of its namesake. A brickmaker, too, was kept con- 
stantly employed, and masons utilized the product of 
his labor. The gardener's gang had charge of the 
kitchen garden, and set out thousands of grapevines, 
fruit trees and hedge plants. 

News Releases 345 

A water mill with its staff, not merely ground meal 
for the hands, but produced a fine flour that com- 
manded extra price in the market. In 1786 Washing- 
ton asserted that his flour was "equal in quality to any 
made in this country," and the Mount Vernon brand 
was of such value that some money was made by buy- 
ing outside wheat and grinding it into flour. The coop- 
ers of the estate made the barrels in which it was packed, 
and Washington's schooner carried it to the market. 

The estate had its own shoemaker and in time a staff 
of weavers were trained. Before this was obtained in 
1760, though with only a modicum of the force he pres- 
ently had, Washington ordered from London "450 ells 
of Osnabrig, 4 pieces of Brown Wools, 350 yards of 
Kendall cotton and 100 yards of Dutch Blanket." By 
1768 he was manufacturing the chief part of his re- 
quirements, for in that year his weavers produced 815 
yards of linen, 365 yards of woolen, 144 yards of linsey 
and 40 yards of cotton, a total of 1,365 yards, one man 
and five Negro girls having been employed. 

When once the looms were well organized, an in- 
finite variety of cloths was produced, the accounts men- 
tioning "Striped woolen, woolen plaided, cotton striped, 
linen, wool-birdseye, cotton filled with wool, linsey, 
l M's and O's,' cotton India dimity, cotton jump striped, 
linen filled with tow, cotton striped with silk, Roman 
M., Janes twilled, huccabac, broadcloth, counterpane, 
birdseye diaper, kirsey wool, barragon, fustian, bed- 
ticking, herring box and shalloon." 

One of the most important features of the estate was 
its fishery, for the catch, salted down, largely served in 
place of meat in feeding some of the help. Of this ad- 

346 Washington Bicentennial 

vantage Washington wrote: "This river (the Potomac) 
is well supplied with various kinds of fish at all seasons 
of the year; and, in the spring, with the greatest pro- 
fusion of shad, herring, bass, carp, perch, sturgeon, etc. 
Several valuable fisheries appertain to the estate; the 
whole shore, in short, is one entire fishery." 

Whenever there was a run of fish, the seine was drawn, 
chiefly for herring and shad, and in good years this not 
merely amply supplied the home requirements, but al- 
lowed of sales; four or five shillings the thousand for 
herring, and ten shillings the hundred for shad were 
the average prices, and sales of as high as 85,000 herring 
were made in a single year. 

Washington's Fish Business 

In one of his business-like ledgers, George Washing- 
ton records an entry for August 11, 1772: "Went with 
those Gentlemn. (naming certain guests at Mount Ver- 
non) a fishing, and dined under the bank at Colo. Fair- 
fax's near his White House." 

Near that White House formerly owned and occu- 
pied by "Colo." Fairfax now stands one of the important 
hatcheries of the United States Fish Commission, re- 
stocking the Potomac with the shad that formed a staple 
of George Washington's business of selling the catch of 
his "seins." And perhaps nothing would please Wash- 
ington more, could he return today, than this visible 
evidence of the development of the Nation's fishery in- 
dustry since his day. 

The business that Washington did in the sale of fish 
caught from his several landings will surprise those who 
carefully read his published ledgers and diaries, says the 

News Releases 347 

Division of Information and Publication of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. He 
made every inch of his extensive property yield its due, 
and he turned to the Potomac River which edged his 
lands, for all that it had to give up in salable products. 
Thus during the latter part of April and the beginning 
of May, in 1772, he sold over 11,000 fish, mainly her- 
ring. One page of his diary, that of July 10, 1772, re- 
cords the sale to James Tilghman of 30 barrels of shad, 
for which Washington received 40 pounds and 10 shil- 

By 1758 he seems to have developed the trade so that 
we find an entry for April 6 that year: "Sent my Shad 
Sein and Hands to the Ferry to commence Fishing for 
Messrs. Douglas & Smith, who had engaged to take all 
the Shad and Herring I can catch in Season, the first at 
fifteen shillings a hundred, and the other at four shillings 
a thousand." 

Interested as he was in the industry of fishing, Wash- 
ington would be the first to take pride in the growth of 
American fisheries to the point where the annual catch 
for the United States and Alaska is now three billion 
pounds, or a value of $116,000,000 to the fishermen. 

Commissioner of Fisheries, Henry O'Malley, took 
great pride in laying before a representative of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission some of the totals marking the contrast between 
fishing in Washington's day and the vast industry that 
has now been built up by private enterprise, with 
scientific Government help in conservation arid 

348 Washington Bicentennial 

For example the Chesapeake crab, in Washington's 
day ignored, but now a prized delicacy and article of 
diet, was caught, sold, and eaten to the tune of 60,000,- 
000 in 1929. More recently still there has come into 
being the brine freezing process which has enormously 
expanded even the fishery industry of the past few 
years. This brine freezing process has made possible 
a package trade of 85,000,000 pounds annually. For 
not only has the annual sale of fish grown steadily, but 
the trade has taken on refinements unthought of even 
a few years ago. 

One such development is the filleting of haddock 
which began on a broad scale in 1921. The larger fish, 
such as cod and salmon, are steaked. Wrapped in treated 
paper, and subjected to the rapid brine freezing, these 
fillets and steaks can now be kept in perfect condition 
indefinitely, and so can be shipped to points where salt- 
water fish have never been used before. 

A man of Washington's prudence might be alarmed 
as well as pleased by this rise of fisheries to be one of 
our major indtistries. Our streams of coastal waters can 
not be farmed on any such scale unless fish are sown 
to furnish new crops. One of the chief activities of 
the Bureau of Fisheries is this very business of conserva- 
tion. In 1930 this Bureau stocked our streams with 
more than seven and a half billion fish and eggs, includ- 
ing both food and game species. At the Fort Hum- 
phreys hatchery, on the spot where George Washing- 
ton once dined after fishing, 70,000,000 young shad 
have been bred and released in the river. 

"All in all," says Commissioner O'Malley, "I think 
Washington would approve what we are doing to 

News Releases 349 

broaden and enrich an industry in which he himself 
was so much interested." 

George Washington the Bookman 

Visitors to Mount Vernon, if they make the usual 
cursory tour of the house, come away with the belief 
that they have seen in the library the books of George 
Washington precisely as he left them. If they later 
learn that these books are, in many cases, simply other 
copies of volumes Washington is known to have pos- 
sessed, they are deeply disappointed and wonder why 
the Boston Athenaeum should own and keep such a 
large number of the original books from Washington's 

How many books did Washington really own, and 
how did he stand as a bookman among men of his day? 
This was the question asked of Dr. Herbert Putnam, 
librarian of the Library of Congress, by a representa- 
tive of the Division of Information and Publication of 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 

"Ah, you must not expect me to give you an offhand 
answer to a question of that importance," said Dr. 

"Of course, Washington, man of action and affairs, 
was no such reader as Thomas Jefferson, and had no such 
collection of books as Jefferson's library, now safe in 
the Library of Congress. It is fortunate that we have 
had preserved for us the considerable remnants of Wash- 
ington's collection saved by a popular subscription 
raised in Boston to prevent their being scattered." 

In answer to the inquiry as to how this act of venera- 

350 Washington Bicentennial 

tion came about, Dr. Putnam referred the interviewer 
to a learned assistant, who quickly placed him in touch 
with the authorities on this subject. 

These authorities show how many volumes went to 
Boston, but it is doubtful if posterity will know 
exactly how many books Washington did possess. It 
is known that he lent books, and doubtless he had the 
luck of the lender. That is, many a book borrowed 
was never returned. The curious may find on file in 
the Orphan's Court of Fairfax County, Va., the ap- 
praisers' exact list of the Washington library as it was 
after his death and probation of his will. But even 
these thousand or so titles represent but a part of the 
books Washington is thought to have owned. 

Volumes have been written on this question of 
Washington's inclinations as a reader. Most of these 
authorities give themselves up to rhapsody and specu- 
lation. The one fact that is indisputable is that on the 
death of Justice Bushrod Washington a number of books 
formerly belonging to the first President were be- 
queathed by him to his nephew, and from that nephew 
were bought by a Mr. Henry Stevens, of London, who 
meant to place them in the hands of the British Museum. 
There the Washington books might now be, but that a 
group of Boston patriots, members of the private 
library known as the Boston Athenaeum, clubbed 
together and bought for $3,750 this collection from time 
to time. 

Incidentally it was this same Boston institution 
which, in 1831, bought the most famed Stuart portraits 
of George and Martha Washington. These were ac- 
quired from the family of the artist for the sum of 

News Releases 351 

$1,500, which stands recorded in the official records of 
the Athenaeum as "an absurdly small sum it now seems 
for these invaluable pictures." As every visitor to 
Boston knows, this pair of portraits, perhaps the best 
known in the country, has been lent by the Athenaeum 
authorities to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, so that 
they may be seen by thousands of admirers every year, 
where otherwise they would be visible only to the users 
of a private library. 

Returning to the known books of Washington, just 
what did he read? By the infallible test of the ap- 
praisers' list, he bought chiefly books of information. 
Naturally authorities on military science interested him. 
Next in importance he seems to have rated books on 
agriculture and husbandry. At the head of the ap- 
praisers' list stands the "American Encyclopedia" of 
that period in 1 volumes. One volume with a title cal- 
culated to amuse the sophisticates of the present day is 
a "Royal Grammer, for young Gentlemen and Ladies." 
Another striking title in the list is "Jefferies Aerial 

Washington read Shakespeare and occasionally quoted 
him. He read Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" in the 
Pope translation. He owned the "Letters of Junius," 
Gibbons' "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," the 
"Letters of Voltaire," "Chesterfield's Letters," Seneca's 
"Moral Essays," and the prose of Swift, Sterne, and 

Fiction seems to have entered very sparingly into 
Washington's reading. To repeat, he read for informa- 
tion rather than for entertainment. Nevertheless, we 
find among his books "Don Quixote," "Gulliver's 

3 52 Washington Bicentennial 

Travels," "Hudibras," "Peregrine Pickle," and a book 
called "The History of a Foundling," which sounds very 
much like "Tom Jones." 

Whatever Washington did read, he regarded books as 
of sufficient importance to warrant the building of a 
wing to his house to serve as a library, and visitors to 
Mount Vernon come away with the opinion that it was 
the most interesting and attractive room in the house. 
And Washington is known to have passed much of his 
life at his work there. 

Washington Pleased by "Home Town" Ball 

The people of Alexandria, Va., George Washington's 
"home town," were never negligent in observing the 
birthday of their illustrious fellow citizen. 

After Washington returned to Mount Vernon upon 
his retirement from the office of Presidency of the 
United States, his natal day was fittingly observed in 
the little Virginia city on the two occasions that it 
occurred before the General's death in December, 1799. 
The date upon which these commemorations were held, 
however, was February 11, because of the hesitance of 
the people in fully accepting the Gregorian calendar, 
which had been adopted by most countries over 40 
years before. 

In Washington's diaries, which were never volumi- 
nous, the entry for February 12, 1798, reads: 

"Went with the family to a ball in Alexandria given 
by the citizens of it and its vicinity in commemoration 
of the anniversary of my birthday." The 11th had 
fallen on Sunday, so the celebration was held on the 
12 th of February. 

News Releases 353 

In 1799, the year of Washington's death, his birthday 
was celebrated twice — once by the citizens of Alex- 
andria on February 11, and again at Mount Vernon on 
February 22, when Nellie Custis, Mrs. Washington's 
granddaughter, became the bride of Washington's 
nephew, Lawrence Lewis. Both events are briefly 
chronicled in the diaries. 

However reticent Washington himself may have been 
regarding his birthday, his admirers throughout the 
country were not restrained by the same diffidence. An 
interesting, quaintly written account of Alexandria's 
commemoration of the late President's birthday in 1799 
is contained in the files of the Federal Gazette, of Balti- 
more, in the issue appearing on February 1 5 of that year. 

This item was dated "Alexandria, February 11," and 
after dwelling on the beauty of the day, tells of the 
salute fired at sunrise, the assembling of the militia which 
was to take part in the ceremonies and an enumeration 
of the companies participating. At 11 o'clock in the 
morning Washington himself rode into the town, 
escorted by three companies of dragoons. 

"Shortly after the general came into town, he passed 
the line in review, accompanied by several gentlemen. 
Agreeable to arrangements previously made, three com- 
panies of infantry were embarked on board the Nep- 
tune, the Trial and Mercury, in order to act as an invad- 
ing enemy. The remaining troops marched to the Mall, 
when the rifie men and a detachment of artillery were 
dispatched to protect the fort and act against the foe. 
When the Neptune came abreast of the fort, she re- 
ceived three rounds, which she returned, silenced the 
guns and passed up the river in order to effect a land- 

354 Washington Bicentennial 

ing — the riflemen in the meantime running along shore 
endeavouring to pick the men off the shrouds, and the 
artillery keeping up a fire at her. When she came op- 
posite to Keith's wharf, the troops were landed on it, 
the Neptune covering the debarkation, where they were 
opposed by those on shore, and were eventually obliged 
to take to their boats. A landing was afterward effected 
on Ramsay's wharf, and the 'supposed' enemy marched 
up King Street, in which street, at the intersection of 
Fairfax Street, they were again opposed; and a heavy 
and continued street-firing kept up; until by an excel- 
lent maneuvre of the horse, who came upon their rear, 
they were obliged to surrender." 

At the end of this sham battle, which the former 
Commander in Chief watched with interest, the partici- 
pants disbanded to the several inns maintained in the 
town and partook of dinners which "were perfectly 
satisfactory to the guests," and at which "a number of 
toasts were drank by each party." The paper then 

"The evening was concluded by a ball and supper 
given at Mr. Gadsby's which was much superior to any- 
thing of the kind ever known here. The company was 
numerous and brilliant; and beauty of person and excel- 
lency of taste, in the ladies, seemed to vie for a prefer- 
ence. The house was elegantly illuminated; and the 
ball room was adorned with a transparent likeness of 
General Washington, executed in masterly style." 

Mount Vernon Became a Mecca at End of War 

With the completion of the great Memorial high- 
way from the National Capital to Mount Vernon, 12 

News Releases 35 5 

miles south of Washington, in ample time for the 
beginning of the George Washington Bicentennial Cele- 
bration in 1932, it is anticipated that Mount Vernon 
will become a Mecca for the millions of visitors expected 
from every section of the United States. 

Mount Vernon has always been the outstanding 
shrine of the country and has been visited every year 
by many thousands of people, but record breaking 
figures are looked for during the nine months of the 
Bicentennial Celebration. 

Even when Gen. George Washington resigned his 
commission as Commander in Chief of the Continental 
Army and returned to Mount Vernon, his estate on the 
banks of the Potomac became an objective for every 
foreigner of any position who came to this country, as 
well as for prominent Americans. 

Although he had left his home eight years before as 
a distinguished Virginian, he had returned one of the 
most famous men in the world, and such celebrity 
brought its usual penalties. Hundreds of persons made 
the pilgrimage to Mount Vernon to visit America's 
greatest hero, and all were hospitably received, although 
they consumed many hours of Washington's time. 

In addition he was besieged by portrait painters and 
sculptors, and it was then that Peale, Gilbert Stuart, 
Savage, Pine, Sharpies, Trumbull, and other painters, as 
well as sculptors, such as Houdon and Ceracchi, came 
into their own to the upbuilding of their undying fame 
and the great enrichment of the world. Washington, in 
1785, in a letter to Francis Hopkinson, somewhat 
quaintly writes: 

356 Washington Bicentennial 

rf In for a penny, in for a pound, is an old adage. I 
am so hackneyed to the touches of the painter's pencil, 
that I am now altogether at their beck; and sit like Pa- 
tience on a monument,' whilst they are delineating the 
lines of my face. It is a proof, among many others, of 
what habit and custom can accomplish. At first I was 
as impatient at the request, and as restive under the op- 
eration, as a colt is of the saddle. The next time I sub- 
mitted very reluctantly, but with less flouncing. Now. 
no dray-horse moves more readily to his thill than I to 
the painter's chair." 

Friends Sent Washington Numerous Gifts 

The custom of sending gifts to the President of the 
United States by friends and admirers may well be said 
to have originated with the first inauguration of George 

Among the gifts received by our first President were 
dogs, jackasses, pigs, jennets, Chinese geese, golden pheas- 
ants, and many other feathered or furred creatures. In 
fact, toward the end of his life, George Washington had 
the nucleus for a small sized 200. 

A most interesting gift was sent to Washington by 
the Earl of Buchan, of Scotland. It consisted of a box 
made from an oak tree that sheltered the great Sir 
William Wallace, at the battle of Falkirk, with the re- 
quest to pass it to the man in the United States who 
should appear to merit it best. With characteristic 
modesty Washington, in his will, ordered this gift re- 
turned to the original owner, saying: 

"Whether easy or not to select the man who might 

News Releases 3 57 

comport with his Lordship's opinion in this respect, it 
is not for me to say; but, conceiving that no disposi- 
tion of this valuable curiosity can be more eligible than 
the recommitment of it to his own cabinet, agreeably 
to the original design of the Goldsmith's Company of 
Edinburg, who presented it to him, and, at his request, 
consented that it should be transferred to me, I do give 
and bequeath the same to his Lordship; and, in case of 
his decease, to his heir, with my grateful thanks for the 
distinguished honor of presenting it to me, and in es- 
pecial for the favorable sentiments with which he ac- 
companied it." 

Washington, in his will, also disposed of another gift. 
This was a golden-headed cane left him by Benjamin 
Franklin. This cane Washington bequeathed to his 
brother Charles. 

Shortly after the Revolution the King of Spain gen- 
erously sent the American hero two jackasses and two 
jennets. One of the jacks died on the way over, but the 
other animals reached Mount Vernon safely. In 1786 
Lafayette sent Washington from the island of Malta an- 
other jack and two jennets, besides some Chinese pheas- 
ants and partridges. A short time later, Gouverneur 
Morris sent him two Chinese pigs and two Chinese geese 9 
which he referred to in his diary as "the foolishest geese 
I ever beheld, for they choose all times for setting but 
in the Spring, and one of them is even now (November) 
actually engaged in this business." 

In 1786 the King of France sent him 75 pyramidal 
cypress trees, while a short time before, Governor Clin- 
ton sent him ivy, limes and lindens. "Light Horse 

3 58 Washington Bicentennial 

Harry" Lee sent him for his gardens some lilacs, oranges, 
aspen, mulberries, magnolia and horse chestnut trees. 
In addition to these, the key to the Bastille, a hunting 
horn, brass fire-dogs, and other gifts were given by La- 
fayette, who also sent a pack of French hounds of enor- 
mous size. 

Washington received a cane from King Louis the 1 6th 
of France, a cup and saucer from Count de Rocham- 
beau, a liqueur case from Lord Fairfax, and many other 
gifts too numerous to mention. 

Washington's Last Birthday 

Of all George Washington's 67 birthdays he seemed 
to have experienced enough real pleasure on that of Feb- 
ruary 22, 1799, his last one, to make up amply for the 
hardships, privations and anxieties that marked some of 
his previous birth anniversaries. 

While his birthday had been publicly observed with 
varying degrees of enthusiasm from the year 1784, every 
circumstance combined to make of February 22, 1799, 
a day of more than usual festivity. 

The principal factor in the joy of this birthday was 
that he was at home — at Mount Vernon — and enjoy- 
ing there the domestic life for which he had longed so 
earnestly while engaged in military and presidential 

On retirement from public life, he expressed to a 
friend the desire never again to be more than 20 miles 
distant from his own beloved home. 

Congratulations and good wishes poured in from all 
parts of the United States and from many friends abroad 

News Releases 359 

on this last birthday. Contentment must have absorbed 
his soul. He had won fame as Commander in Chief of 
the American Army. His victories had changed the 
map of the world as well as its history; and, as the Na- 
tion's founder and first President, he had tided the 
youthful republic through the uncertainties of its in- 
fancy into a national recognition by the world. He had 
established firmly the principles and rights of a people 
to self government and the tributes of the world were 
ringing in his ears. With the cares of State behind him, 
he was free at last to enjoy his life and to revel in the 
satisfaction of seeing the marriage of the two young 
people he loved so dearly. 

This he had brought about, although unaware of the 
fact that a romance between Nellie Custis, the belle of 
Mount Vernon, his beloved adopted daughter, and his 
young secretary and nephew, Lawrence Lewis, son of 
his sister, Betty Lewis, had gotten to the point of be- 
trothal. A letter from him to Bartholomew Dandridge, 
a nephew of Mrs. Washington, under date of January 
25, 1799, indicates very plainly that he had not been 
consulted or even informed of the romance in his family 
circle. If the General felt that the betrothed pair had 
been at all remiss with their confidences he gave no sign, 
but proceeded at once to aid their plans. The follow- 
ing letter authorizing the license is copied from the orig- 
inal, which is addressed: 

"To Captain George Deneale, 

Clerk of Fairfax County Court" — 

Mt. Vernon 19th Feb., 1799. 
"Sir: You will please to grant a license for the mar- 

360 Washington Bicentennial 

riage of Eleanor Parke Custis with Lawrence Lewis, and 
this shall be your authority for so doing. 
"From Sir 

Your very humble servant 

"G. Washington 

"Thomas Peter 
"George W. P. Custis." 

While documentary evidence is lacking to stamp its 
truth upon some one of the many legends that cluster 
around this love idyl of Mount Vernon, the standards, 
habits, customs, and prestige of the Washington, Custis, 
and Lewis families was such as to give quite naturally 
this wedding of Mrs. Washington's adored granddaugh- 
ter all of the beauty of setting and detail demanded of 
the social code of their day. 

Family tradition describes the lovely bride as gowned 
in elegant white satin brocaded in silver, her filmy veil 
held in place with a cluster of flowers and the handsome 
white plumes sent to General Washington from France. 
As the French fashions were just beginning to be popu- 
lar in America, the belief is that her wedding dress was 
of this short-waisted style with long straight lines to 
the skirt without hoop or heavy quilted petticoats such 
as was the mode when her grandmother married the 
General. Slippers, hose, and flowers naturally followed 
the proper order, and the General, distinguished, and 
majestic, attended her wearing — not the splendid new 
uniform recently ordered for his military service at 
President Adams' appointment — as commanding Gen- 
eral of the American Army, when war threatened, but 

News Releases 361 

his beloved and famous old buff and blue Continental 

The Rev. Thomas Davis tied the nuptial knot, accord- 
ing to the day's entry of February 22, 1799, in the Gen- 
eral's diary. Consistent with his lifetime habit, this en- 
try recorded the weather conditions in detail, but only 
the barest facts of the wedding. It reads: 

"Feb. 22 Morning raining. Mer at 30. Wind a little 
more to the Northward. Afterwards very strong from 
the No.Wt. and turning clear and cold. The Revd. Mr. 
Davis and Mr. Geo. Calvert came to dinner and Miss 
Custis was married abt. Candle light to Mr. Lawe. 

The wedding was witnessed by a large group of 
friends and relatives. The wedding supper in the ban- 
quet hall of the mansion was the extreme of perfection 
and elegance in silver, china, linen, and crystal. Cakes, 
bonbons, and all the dainties that comprised the menu 
of a wedding banquet of the day were supplied in abun- 
dance, and many toasts were drunk to the health and 
happiness of the young couple. 

Many stories have found publication regarding this 
romance which, after all, came about most logically. 
After General and Mrs. Washington returned to Mount 
Vernon upon his retirement from public life, they found 
the many social demands upon them too arduous; and, 
to help them entertain the many visitors, most of whom 
remained over night George Washington sent for his 
nephew, Lawrence Lewis, a son of his sister, Mrs. Betty 
Lewis, of Fredericksburg, Va. 

Lawrence was tall, like his distinguished uncle, good 
looking, and at once fell in love with Nelly. 

362 Washington Bicentennial 

Many suitors had come, tarried and paid court to the 
belle of Mount Vernon, who loved all the graces of 
the Republican court. Legend accredits Mrs. Wash- 
ington with favoring the suit of a titled Englishman 
in Philadelphia, who sought Miss Custis' hand. Her 
brother, George Washington Parke Custis, is said to have 
favored Charles Carroll, of Maryland. Under the spell 
of Lawrence's presence, time acquired wings and car- 
ried romance upon them to their wedding, to the great 
happiness of the General, who had adopted the little 
two-year-old Nellie and her infant brother at the death 
of their father, his aide-de-camp and step-son, John 
Parke Custis, whose life flickered out as a result of camp 
fever just after the surrender of Cornwallis at York- 

Nellie was his favorite. She met his moods as no one 
else could do. Her beauty and grace satisfied his aes- 
thetic sense. Her nimble wit charmed and delighted 
him and her sweetness of disposition and graces of mind 
were a constant delight. She could divert, amuse, and 
send him into shouts of laughter with her gift of mim- 
icry and pantomime, soothe and cheer him with her 
music and songs in his darkest hours. 

Washington Wrote Will Without Legal Aid 

George Washington did not consult a lawyer when 
he decided it was time for him to make his will. It was 
a voluminous document, and he wrote every line of it 
himself, according to the Division of Information and 
Publication of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission. 

In the last paragraph of that interesting document 

News Releases 363 

he makes reference to the legal profession and the 
possibilities of disputes. It reads: 

"I constitute and appoint my dearly beloved wife 
Martha Washington, my nephews, William Augustine 
Washington, Bushrod Washington, George Steptoe 
Washington, Samuel Washington & Lawrence Lewis, 
& my ward, George Washington Parke Custis (when he 
shall have arr rived at the age of 20 years) , Executrix & 
Executors of this Will and testament, — In the construc- 
tion of which it will readily be perceived that no profes- 
sional character has been consulted or has had any agency 
in the draught — and that, although it has occupied many 
of my leisure hours to digest; & to through it into its 
present form, it may, notwithstanding, appear crude 
and incorrect — But having endeavored to be plain, and 
explicit in all its Devises — even at the expense of 
prolixity, perhaps of tautology, I hope, and trust, that 
no disputes will arise concerning them; but if, contrary 
to expectation, the case should be otherwise from the 
want of legal expression, or the usual technical terms, or 
because too much or too little has been said on any of 
the Devises to be consonant with law, my Will and 
direction expressly is, that all disputes (if unhappily 
any should arise) shall be decided by three impartial 
and intelligent men, known for their probity and good 
understanding; — two to be chosen by the disputants — 
each having the choice of one — and the third by those 
two. — Which three men thus chosen, shall unfettered by 
Law, or legal constructions, declare their sense of the 
Testators intention; — and such decision is, to all intents 
and purposes to be as binding on the Parties as if it had 
been given in the Supreme Court of the United States." 

364 Washington Bicentennial 

Service Ships Toll Bells as They Pass Mount Vernon 

The precedent of ships tolling their bells when they 
pass the historic shrine of Mount Vernon goes back to 
the year 1814. 

In August of 1814, during our second war with 
England, seven British ships steamed up the Potomac 
River. What was their objective? Was Mount Vernon 
to be destroyed in retaliation for the English defeat by 
General Washington? 

Judge Bushrod Washington, the nephew to whom 
George Washington bequeathed his home at Mount 
Vernon, was entertaining a group of jurists and their 
wives at the time. Would they be injured? Would 
they be taken prisoners. 

Bushrod Washington anxiously watched the ships 
through large field glasses. Their home took on a 
deathly quiet. All was doubt. 

The ships kept up their steady approach. They were 
nearing Mount Vernon. They were now opposite 
Mount Vernon. The occupants of the house were 
resigned to their fate. 

A roar of guns was heard. But the guns were not 
pointed at the house. The boats kept sailing up the 
river. The English ships, General Gordon of the Royal 
Fleet commanding, had fired a salute in respect to our 
Commander in Chief, the first President of the United 

That incident set the precedent of saluting the home 
of George Washington whenever a service ship passes 
Mount Vernon. A bell is tolled and the colors are 
lowered to half mast. The bugle sounds "taps," and, 
while the guard presents arms, the officers and men on 

News Releases 365 

board deck stand at attention and salute as the ship 
passes the hallowed spot. This spot is America's spiritual 
symbol of liberty! 

The Coat From Washington's Own Back 

Crowds of visitors to the National Capital have 
discovered the drawing power of six certain glass cases 
in the Smithsonian Institution. If this is a harbinger 
of the interest in relics of George Washington, sure to 
be more and more evidenced at the approach of the year 
of the two hundredth anniversary of Washington's 
birth, the six cases at the Smithsonian will have to be 
moved to a space where larger crowds can be 

Recently a representative of the Division of Infor- 
mation and Publication of the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission watched the 
throng one morning gathered about these glass walls 
through which all eyes were staring at the china that 
once graced Washington's dinner table, at his Sheraton 
and Heppelwhite dining chairs, at the extra-faced watch 
that he presented to his wife Martha, at all that the 
Smithsonian Institution possesses that once was inti- 
mately associated with the first President. These crowds 
on the outside of the cases were almost as much of a 
study as the objects within. They were a sign that the 
power of George Washington to capture the interest and 
the respect of these Americans of today, far from 
waning, is rapidly on the increase. 

In one case off by itself in another corner of the mu- 
seum, it might be said for the benefit of future visitors 
to the city of Washington, hangs the famed buff-and- 

366 Washington Bicentennial 

blue uniform habitually worn by Washington and por- 
trayed in so many of his portraits. In this particular 
uniform he must have taken especial pride, for it was 
the one he donned for the occasion of his historic res- 
ignation as General of the Army. 

In the same case will be seen the flag of Washington's 
time as represented in this one of his ownership, con- 
sisting of the usual bars of red and white, but with the 
1 3 stars in a circle in the blue of the "Union Jack." Also 
here are a gold-headed blackthorn cane, Washington's 
service sword, the sleeping tent he used during the Revo- 
lutionary War (presented to the institution by George 
Washington Parke Custis) , a larger field tent, and the 
poles, pegs and ropes that held them in position. 

But of an importance and an interest greater even 
than that of these strictly personal mementoes of Wash- 
ington, is a document that confronts the visitor to the 
Smithsonian Institution as he enters the very door. This 
is Washington's commission as General in Chief of the 
Revolutionary forces, awarded him by the Continental 
Congress and signed with the flourish of John Hancock, 
its president, and other officials. That not over-large 
slip of engrossed paper is almost as priceless as the Dec- 
laration of Independence itself, for it was this commis- 
sion which placed in power the one man of the time 
who was capable of putting the Declaration into prac- 
tical effect. 

If the awed visitor has attention for anything else 
in the same case that contains this article, he or she will 
see something almost as important to history. This is 
the white brocade robe in which the infant George 
Washington was christened, not long after his birth in 

News Releases 367 

1732. Along with these two outstanding articles are 
the compass used by Washington as a surveyor in lay- 
ing out his lands about Mount Vernon, his shaving mir- 
ror and razor case, his medicine scales, his leather writ- 
ing case (used during the Revolutionary War and look- 
ing very much like a modern lawyer's briefcase) , trays 
of Sheffield silver from Washington's dining table, and 
various portraits, miniatures and medals. 

Here also are the spyglass and the larger field glass 
used by General Washington in his battles and his recon- 
noitering, the brass of both of them now battered and 
tarnished. With them, in the same case, is an object sure 
to attract, especially, the feminine eye — a piece of em- 
broidered velvet that once was the ornamented sleeve 
of one of Martha Washington's gowns. 

In a companion case adjoining is an array of the china 
service used by Washington and Martha, and by the un- 
ending line of guests entertained at their table. And 
with the dining chairs from the shops of Sheraton and 
Heppelwhite in another case are tables and a large wing 
chair which, the attendants at the Smithsonian will tell 
you, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association would give 
much money to possess and restore to their former places 
in Washington's historic home beside the Potomac. 

Washington Spent Much Time in Independence Hall 

The life of George Washington was strangely inter- 
twined with Independence Hall in Philadelphia. In this 
building he served as a member of the Continental 

It was in this building that Congress received the news 

368 Washington Bicentennial 

from General Washington of the defeat of Cornwallis 
at Yorktown, which practically ended the war. 

It was in this building that Washington served as 
president of the convention which framed the Consti- 
tution of the United States. 

It was in this building that Washington spent the 
latter part of his first presidential administration and 
all of his second one. 

He was inaugurated President in this building March 
4, 1793, for his second term. His first inauguration, it 
will be recalled, was in New York, April 30, 1789. 

It was in this building that Washington delivered his 
famous "Farewell Address" to the American people. 

It was in this building that Congress received official 
announcement of the death, of Washington. John 
Marshall, then a member of Congress from Virginia, 
offered the following resolution: "That a committee in 
connection with one from the Senate be appointed to 
consider the most suitable manner of paying honor to 
the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, and 
first in the hearts of his country." Marshall later 
amended the word "country" to read "countrymen." 
These famous words were incorporated in Richard 
Henry Lee's funeral oration in honor of Washington. 

Dramatic History of Independence Hall 

Independence Hall, which will be the scene of 
impressive ceremonies during the George Washington 
Bicentennial Celebrations in 1932, is, aside from its his- 
torical interest, one of the most outstanding archi- 
tectural monuments in the United States. 

News Releases 369 

Independence Hall and its wings were designed and 
built by Andrew Hamilton, a lawyer of Philadelphia. 
After the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania had been 
compelled to "hire a house annually" in which to hold 
its meetings, the Journal records the fact that on the 
1st of May, 1729, "the House took into consideration 
the necessity of a house of the Assembly for this Province 
to meet in, and it was unanimously resolved that £2,000 
of the £30,000 then to be emitted in paper currency, 
should be appropriated towards building such a House." 

The State House was first occupied by the legisla- 
ture in October, 1736, when Andrew Hamilton was 
elected speaker for the seventh term and Benjamin 
Franklin was a clerk. 

It was not until 1750, however, that the assembly 
ordered a tower to be erected in which the famous old 
Liberty Bell was later placed. 

In 1759 a clock was also placed in the tower. 

Of the notable events that have taken place in Inde- 
pendence Hall, the following are of especial interest: 

On June 16, 1775, Washington accepted his appoint- 
ment as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. 

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence 
was adopted. 

The convention to form a new constitution for 
Pennsylvania met from July 15 to September 28, 1776, 
and unanimously approved the Declaration of 

The American officers taken by the British at the 
Battles of Brandy wine (September 11, 1777) and Ger- 
mantown (October 4, 1777) were held in the declara- 
tion chambers as prisoners of war. 

370 Washington Bicentennial 

Continental Congress, which had left Philadelphia in 
December, 1776, reconvened in the east room March 4, 
1777; they left again September 18, returned July 2, 
1778, and continued to sit there until the close of the 

On July 9, 1778, the Articles of Confederation and 
perpetual union between the States were signed in the 
declaration chamber by eight States. The five remain- 
ing signed later, the last (Maryland) on March 1, 1781. 

The Federal convention met there to frame a con- 
stitution for the United States from May 14 to Sep- 
tember 14, 1787, and, after final action and engrossing 
of the Constitution, those present affixed to it their 

The convention for the State of Pennsylvania ratified 
the Federal Constitution here on December 13, 1787. 

In 1802 the whole of the second floor of the State 
House was used as a museum by Charles Willson Peale, 
the portrait painter, he having been granted the use of* 
it free by the legislature. 

In 1824 Lafayette visited Philadelphia and was given 
a reception in the independence chamber. 

The bodies of John Marshall, Chief Justice of the 
United States Supreme Court; Henry Clay (1852); 
Elisha Kent Kane, the Arctic explorer (1857) ; and 
Abraham Lincoln (1865) were among those which lay 
in state in Independence Hall. 

Independence Voted July 2, 1776 

July 2 has been neglected as an anniversary date of 
importance by the American people, yet it is one of the 
most significant dates of our history, for it was on 

News Releases 371 

July 2, and not on July 4, 1776, that American inde- 
pendence was really voted by the Continental Congress 
then in session. 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission calls the attention of the Nation to this 
fact and suggests that, when the people throughout the 
land celebrate Independence Day in 1932, during the 
celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of George Washington, July 2, as well as July 4, 
be recognized in the merry-making and thanksgiving 
which the anniversary of that great document brings 

The story of how independence was voted is here 
briefly told. Before 1775, independence was not 
thought of by most of the American leaders or by the 
American public at large. The colonists were inter- 
ested in righting the wrongs inflicted by the British 
but not in breaking away completely from the mother 

Several attempts at conciliation were made, all with- 
out result. But many of the colonists were still anxious 
to close the breach rather than widen it. As late as 
January, 1776, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
and Maryland instructed their members in Congress to 
vote against independence. 

As the months went on, led by the more radical colo- 
nial statesmen, the demand for independence began to 
crystallize. Soon it became the goal. Complete inde- 
pendence from England was to be the reward for 
American sacrifices. 

January, 1776, brought to Congress news of the 
burning of Norfolk, Va., by the order of Lord Dun- 

372 Washington Bicentennial 

more. About that time Thomas Paine's "Common 
Sense" stirred the colonists to fever pitch. Also reports 
reached Philadelphia in May that England was hiring 
Hessians to coerce the Colonies. There was also the 
stigma of being proclaimed "rebels" and treated as such. 
All these events and conditions had their effect in 
arousing public opinion to the point of demanding 

George Washington, at the head of the Continental 
forces, was urging the Colonies to declare independence. 
He thought that the time for parleying and compro- 
mises was past. Complete severance and independence 
from the mother country, he thought, would help 
bring the struggle to a successful end. 

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced in 
Congress three famous resolutions. The first of these 
declared the United Colonies free and independent 
States, one of the most momentous resolutions ever 
introduced in Congress. 

Lee's resolution was tabled for the time being, but 
Congress created a committee, with Thomas Jefferson 
at its head, to draw up a declaration of independence. 
Lee's resolution for independence was brought up in 
Congress for debate on July 1. On the next day, July 2, 
1776, the vote was taken and it showed 12 States in 
favor of independence, New York not voting. 

It was, therefore, on July 2, 1776, that independence 
was really declared. Thomas Jefferson's declaration of 
independence was then taken up and, after several 
changes were made, the Declaration of Independence 
as we know it was adopted by Congress on July 4, 1 77 G. 

The suggestion of the United States George Wash- 

News Releases 373 

ington Bicentennial Commission that July 2, as well as 
July 4, be celebrated is a good one. Let the Nation 
prepare to have a three-day celebration next year instead 
of the usual one-day event. It will be particularly ap- 
propriate during the year when the man who made the 
Declaration of Independence a reality is being honored 
on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. 

Liberty Bell May Ring Again 
The famous old Liberty Bell, which so joyously rang 
to announce the Declaration of Independence and which 
tolled so sadly when George Washington died at Mount 
Vernon, may again ring forth from Independence Hall 
in Philadelphia on Washington's next birthday, Feb- 
ruary 22, 1932. 

Efforts are being made by officials of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission to 
arrange for a nation-wide radio hook-up on this date 
and have President Hoover press an electric button in 
Washington which will start the Nation's most historic 
bell ringing again after a silence of almost 100 years. 
It is proposed to have the bell strike 13 times, once for 
each of the thirteen original States. 

According to noted Philadelphia historians, the last 
ringing of the bell was on July 8, 1835, in honor of the 
funeral services of John Marshall, Chief Justice of the 
United States, who died in Philadelphia on July 6, 183 5. 
While the bell was being solemnly tolled it suddenly 
cracked. An attempt was made to repair it in 1846 
for the celebration of Washington's Birthday cere- 
monies, but this attempt failed. It is believed, however, 
that while the cracked bell will not give forth its once 

374 Washington Bicentennial 

famous clarion notes, it will, nevertheless, ring suffi- 
ciently loud to be heard by all radio listeners, if it is 
tapped 13 times on the anniversary of Washington's 
birth next year. 

Before it cracked, the Liberty Bell had lived a life of 
82 useful years and had become one of the most famous 
bells in the world. All through the Revolutionary War 
the Liberty Bell was used for the purpose of calling 
together the inhabitants of the city to learn news from 
the battle fields. At one time during the war, how- 
ever, it became necessary to remove the bell hastily from 
its fastenings and take it out of the city. This exciting 
event took place on September 18, 1777, when the news 
came that the British Army was about to occupy Phila- 
delphia. The bell was carefully loaded on a wagon and 
conveyed along with the heavy baggage of the Ameri- 
can Army in a supply train of 700 wagons, guarded 
by 200 North Carlina and Virginia Cavalry, to Allen- 
town, Pa., where it was hidden in Zion's Church until 
June 27, 1778, when it was taken back to Philadelphia 
and again placed in Independence Hall. 

Never from that time until 1835 did anything of 
importance happen that was not announced by the 
ringing of this historic bell. It was joyously rung when 
the news came of the surrender of Cornwallis to Gen- 
eral Washington, which ended the Revolution. 

The old bell is reverently preserved. It stands on 
the ground floor of Independence Hall, where it is 
viewed daily by thousands of visitors from all sections 
of this country. 

The Liberty Bell has been a great traveler in its day. 
In fact, it has seen more of the United States than a 

News Releases 375 

vast majority of the people. In addition to its war- 
time trip to Allentown, it has made the following peace- 
time journeys: 

July 23, 1885: To New Orleans for the World's In- 
dustrial and Cotton Exposition. 

July 25, 1893: To the World's Columbian Exposi- 
tion at Chicago. 

October 24, 1895: To the Cotton States and Atlantic 
Exposition, Atlanta, Ga. 

January 6, 1902: Interstate and West India Exposi- 
tion, Charleston, S. C. 

June 15, 1903: Bunker Hill Celebration, Boston, 

June 15, 1904: Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. 
Louis, Mo. 

October 23, 1913: Historical Street Parade, Founders' 
Week Celebration, Philadelphia, Pa. 

July 4, 1915: To the Panama-Pacific Exposition at 
San Francisco, Calif. 

George Washington very often heard the ringing of 
the Liberty Bell, due to the fact that he spent more time 
in Philadelphia than in any other place, except his home 
State of Virginia. He first went there as a member of 
the Continental Congress. His next official visit was 
as the presiding officer of the convention which framed 
our Constitution. His longest stay in the City of 
Brotherly Love was as President of the United States 
from 1790 to 1797. 

The history of the Liberty Bell, even before the 
American Revolution, is an interesting one. In the year 
1751 the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania 

376 Washington Bicentennial 

decided that the State House at Philadelphia (Inde- 
pendence Hall) needed a new bell. A resolution was 
passed instructing the superintendents of the building 
to secure one. The superintendents, Isaac Norris, 
Thomas Leech, and Edward Warner, wrote the follow- 
ing quaint letter to Robert Charles, the colonial agent 
at London: 

"Respected Friend, Robert Charles: 

"The Assembly having ordered us (the Superinten- 
dents of the State House) to procure a bell from Eng- 
land to be purchased for their use, we take the 
liberty to apply ourselves to thee to get us a good 
bell, of about two thousand pounds weight, the cost of 
which we assume may amount to one hundred pounds, 
sterling, or perhaps with the charges something more. 

"We hope and rely on thy care and assistance in this 
affair, and that thou wilt procure and forward it by 
the first good opportunity, as our workmen inform us 
it will be much less trouble to hang the bell before the 
scaffolds are struck from the building where we intend 
to place it, which will not be done 'till the end of next 
summer or beginning of the fall. 

"Let the bell be cast by the best workmen, and ex- 
amined carefully before it is shipped, with the following 
words, well shapen in large letters round it, viz: 

" 'By order of the Assembly of the Province of Penn- 
sylvania for the State House in the City of Philadel- 
phia, 1752/ 

"And underneath: 'Proclaim Liberty throughout all 
the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. — Lev. 
XXV. 10/ 

News Releases 377 

"As we have experienced thy readiness to serve this 
province on all occasions, we desire it may be our excuse 
for this additional trouble, from thy assured friends, 

"Isaac Norris 
"Thomas Leech 
"Edward Warner 

"Let the package for transportation be examined with 
particular care and the full value insured thereon." 

The careful directions by the superintendents were 
duly carried out by the colonial agent at London. The 
bell was cast by Thomas Lister, of Whitechapel, Lon- 
don, and reached Philadelphia in August, 1752. It, 
however, was not a success. When placed on trusses in 
the State House yard for a trial ringing it was soon 

An American firm was now given a chance to see 
what it could do in the way of producing a satisfac- 
tory bell. The name of this firm was Pass & Stow, "two 
ingenious workmen" of Philadelphia. These two young 
men broke up the English-made bell, melted the mate- 
rial, added an ounce and a half of American copper to 
each pound of the old metal to make it less brittle, and 
recast it with all the original inscriptions on it, with 
the exception of the substitution of their own names 
for that of the London manufacturer and the date and 
place of manufacture. Certain defects made a second 
casting necessary. The bell as it now stands is the result 
of this second casting. 

The bell is considerably larger than most people 
imagine, it being 12 feet in circumference and with a 
clapper 3 feet 2 inches long. 

378 Washington Bicentennial 

The early official ringers of this famous bell were 
Edward Kelly, from 1753 to 1755; David Edward, from 
1755 to 1758; and Andrew McNair, from 1758 to 
1776. It was McNair who had the honor of ringing 
the bell announcing the Declaration of Independence. 

Richard Henry Lee's Independence Resolution 

January 20, 1931, marks the one hundred and ninety- 
ninth anniversary of the birth of Richard Henry Lee, a 
leading statesman of America during and after the 
Revolutionary War, and a close personal friend of 
George Washington. 

It was Lee's famous resolution, introduced in Con- 
gress on June 7, 1776, that paved the way for the Decla- 
ration of Independence. His address to the people of 
British America, and the second address to the people 
of Great Britain, were also considered among the most 
effective papers of the time. 

In accordance with instructions given by the Virginia 
House of Burgesses, Lee introduced in Congress, the fol- 
lowing resolutions: (1) "That these united colonies are, 
and of right ought to be, free and independent states, 
that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British 
Crown, and that all political connection between them 
and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be totally 
dissolved;" (2) "that it is expedient to take the most 
effectual measures for forming foreign alliances," and 
( 3 ) "that a plan of confederation be prepared and trans- 
mitted to the respective colonies for their consideration 
and approbation." 

After debating the first of these resolutions for three 
days, Congress resolved that further considerations 

News Releases 379 

should be postponed until the first of July; but that 
a committee should be appointed to prepare a declara- 
tion of independence. The illness of Lee's wife pre- 
vented him from being a member of the committee, 
but his first resolution was adopted on the 2nd of July; 
and the Declaration of Independence, drafted princi- 
pally by Thomas Jefferson, was officially adopted two 
days later. 

Lee spent many years of his life as a member of the 
Virginia House of Burgesses and as a delegate from the 
old Dominion State to the Continental Congress. He 
distinguished himself both as an orator and statesman 
in both bodies. From 1784-86, he served as president 
of the Congress. 

When the Federal Constitution came up for ratifi- 
cation in the Virginia Legislature, Lee opposed it. In 
the bitter fight which ensued Lee sided with Patrick 
Henry against George Washington, James Madison, 
John Marshall, and other advocates of a strong federal 
government. Lee and Patrick Henry both fought the 
document on the grounds that it would infringe ma- 
terially on the independent powers of the several States. 

When Lee's side lost and the Constitution was ratified, 
he accepted the nomination for United States Senator 
with the hope of bringing about amendments to the 
Constitution which would limit the power of the United 
States Government. It was Richard Henry Lee, as Sen- 
ator from Virginia, who was responsible for the now 
famous Tenth Amendment which, in substance, re- 
served to the States, all power not specifically granted 
to Congress. 

As time went on, Lee became a warm supporter of 

380 Washington Bicentennial 

Washington's administration, and his prejudices against 
the Constitution were largely removed. 

Although Lee was often on the other side of the po- 
litical fence, he was one of Washington's closest friends. 
He was a frequent guest at the Washington home and 
was one of the very few men who was really on intimate 
terms with the Father of his Country. 

Richard Henry Lee received an academic education 
in England and returned to Virginia in 1752, having 
come into possession of a fine estate left him by his 
father. When twenty-five years old, he was appointed 
Justice of the Peace of Westmoreland County. In the 
same year, he began his long and distinguished career 
in the Virginia House of Burgesses. 

Richard Henry Lee early allied himself with the Pa- 
triotic or Whig element in Virginia, and in the years 
immediately preceding the Revolutionary War was con- 
spicuous as an opponent of the arbitrary measures of 
the British ministry. In 1768 in a letter to John Dick- 
inson, of Pennsylvania, he suggested a private corre- 
spondence among the friends of liberty in different colo- 
nies, and in 1773 he became a member of the Virginia 
Committee of Correspondence. 

His distinguished services in Congress and in the Sen- 
ate mark him as one of the outstanding Americans 
of the eighteenth century. He retired from public life 
in 1792 and died at Chantilly, in Westmoreland County, 
on June 19, 1794. 

French Colonial Patriots 

To attempt to measure how much we Americans 
owe to France for the Independence of the United 

News Releases 381 

States would be like trying to estimate the inestimable. 

The value of the help that France gave to the Ameri- 
can Colonies at the most critical period of their exist- 
ence — when that great question was being determined 
whether they would remain a chastised portion of the 
British Empire, and whether George Washington and 
his compatriots would be adjudged traitors or the patri- 
otic founders of a new Nation — can never be measured. 

What would have happened to the English Colonies 
in America, if France had not taken the part of the 
Americans with her friendship, her gallant army and 
her powerful fleet, no one is qualified to state. It is 
practically certain, however, that the Revolution would 
have been prolonged, and the outcome might possibly 
have been doubtful. 

France's help was of two kinds. She sent us volun- 
teer officers like Lafayette, who had been trained in the 
art of warfare far beyond anything that had been taught 
on this continent. Then the French Government de- 
cided to aid us with a trained army under Count de 
Rochambeau and with a fleet under Count de Grasse, 
without which it is probable Cornwallis and his Euro- 
pean veterans could have escaped across the narrow 
waters of the York River, and the decisive battle at 
famous little York town, Va., which practically ended 
the war, would not have been a victory for General 

Few Americans would probably admit that in the 
end they could not alone have somehow succeeded — 
as the British say of themselves, "blundered through," — 
but how and when, and at what cost of money, lives, 
and territory, no one can say. 

382 Washington Bicentennial 

Let the figures of the Allied Army under General 
Washington speak for themselves: 

The besieging army at Yorktown consisted of an 
American wing and a French wing, both under the com- 
mand of General Washington as Commander in Chief. 
Marquis de Lafayette, having come across the Atlantic 
at his own expense long before France sent an army over 
to aid us, had been appointed a volunteer officer at once 
by Congress, even though he was then but a boy less 
than 20 years old, and at the siege of Yorktown he com- 
manded the Light Infantry Division of the American 
wing with the rank of Major General. He was then 
only 25 years old. 

The official rolls and registers show that the Conti- 
nental wing — that is, the American soldiers at the bat- 
tle of Yorktown, including 3,200 militia who were well 
known for their bravery but also for inability to with- 
stand the veteran troops of Europe that composed the 
British Army — amounted in all to 8,945; while the 
French wing, under Count de Rochambeau, with the 
rank of Lieutenant General, totaled 7,800 trained sol- 

This force was besieging approximately 7,500 British 
regulars who had seen service on some of the severest 
battlefields of Europe. That number included some 
2,000 German mercenaries, well known for their pro- 
fessional fighting qualities. The British also had elab- 
orate earthworks around the towns well manned with 

These figures, which are not easily accessible in ordi- 
nary historical works, indicate in a startling manner 
what might have happened at Yorktown, if Rocham- 

News Releases 383 

beau with his trained French Army had not been there 
to assist General Washington's Continentals, and the 
3,200 militiamen, many of whom were raw recruits. 

These plain facts show how much the American peo- 
ple owe to French assistance in winning the battle that 
virtually gave them independence, especially when it 
is also taken into consideration that, had not the French 
fleet of the Count de Grasse bottled up the army of 
Cornwallis on the water side of the besieged town, the 
British army could easily have escaped and carried out 
its previous tactics, leading the army of Washington 
another merry chase through Virginia, Pennsylvania, 
New Jersey, and the other Colonies, with no end in 

It is small wonder that the American troops that went 
to France in 1917 to help the Allies after the World 
War had been going on since August, 1914, had the name 
of Lafayette on their lips. To them Lafayette repre- 
sented the French help in the Revolution, because La- 
fayette was a romantic figure, and then, too, General 
Washington loved him and treated him as a son. Later, 
when Lafayette had a son of his own, he named him 
George Washington Lafayette, so close was the bond 
of friendship between the two men. 

When Lafayette visited the United States for the last 
time in 1824 — an old man, 77 years of age — he traveled 
through all parts of the Republic that he did so much 
to found, and he was given ovations such as had never 
before been equaled and seldom, if ever, have been 
equaled since, in this country. Unashamed, the veteran 
felt the tears roll down his face as he visited Mount Ver- 
non with his son — the home of his once beloved Gen- 

384 Washington Bicentennial 

eral — and other places that he remembered so well, but 
which had already begun to take on the semblance of 
more civilized and closely built communities. To Amer- 
ica Lafayette on that visit represented all that was 
friendly to Americans in France and his name will al- 
ways be one to conjure with in the United States. 

But it is the story of the gallant army of Count de 
Rochambeau, and the timely arrival of the fleet of 
Count de Grasse that must not be forgotten in telling 
of the real aid that France as a Nation gave to the Colo- 
nies struggling to become a Nation. 

It was not hatred of the English that brought French- 
men into the American War of Independence. It was 
love of liberty. Although still a monarchy, France was 
on the brink of the French Revolution, the catch words 
of which were "liberty and equality." That is the 
reason largely why Benjamin Franklin was given such 
splendid receptions as the envoy of the new Republic 
in France — that, and his own unique and winning per- 

Many eager and able young Frenchmen went with 
Rochambeau when the King placed him at the head of 
the army that was to go to the other side of the At- 
lantic and fight for liberty — as J. J. Jusserand, recently 
and for so many years the popular Ambassador from 
France to the United States, put it — "Brothers in Arms" 
with the American Colonists. 

Volumes are required to tell in detail all of the ex- 
ploits in America of Rochambeau and his men, of La- 
fayette and other Frenchmen, including Maj. Pierre 
Charles L'Enfant, the brilliant French army engineer, 
who, under the supervision of General, then President, 

News Releases 385 

Washington, drew the plans for Washington City, the 
Capital of the Nation — plans that are still being fol- 
lowed and are today making it one of the most beautiful 
capitals in the world. 

Rochambeau, after several successful campaigns in 
Europe, was sent in 1780 to help the American Colo- 
nists against the English. He was given 6,000 French 
troops and the rank of Lieutenant General. Landing 
at Newport, R. I., July 10, he was held there inactive 
for a year, owing to his reluctance to abandon the 
French fleet, which at that time was blockaded by the 
British in Narragansett Bay. 

In the next July Rochambeau joined Washington on 
the Hudson. That September the celebrated march of 
the combined forces began to the Virginia peninsula, 
where they formed a junction with the troops of La- 
fayette. General Washington decided upon this fa- 
mous movement when he learned that the French fleet 
under Count de Grasse was sailing for Chesapeake Bay 
and would be able to aid the army in the autumn. The 
result was the surrender of the British under Cornwallis 
at Yorktown, near the mouth of the York River, Va. 5 
October 19, 1781, just 150 years ago next October. 

This surrender, which brought about peace, will be 
celebrated at a sesquicentennial celebration at Yorktown 
in October, 1931, which will be in a measure a fore- 
runner of the great bicentennial celebration of Wash- 
ington's birth that will begin February 22, 1932. 

Throughout the entire campaign Rochambeau dis- 
played admirable spirit, placing himself entirely under 
General Washington's command and handling his troops 
as a part of the American Army. Congress was so much 

386 Washington Bicentennial 

impressed with the value of his services that it voted 
him and his troops the thanks of the Nation and pre- 
sented him formally with two cannon taken from the 

On his return to France Rochambeau was loaded with 
favors by King Louis XVI and was made governor of 
Picardy. In the French Revolution Rochambeau com- 
manded the Army of the North in 1790, but resigned 
two years later. Subsequently he was pensioned by 
Napoleon Bonaparte, having narrowly escaped the guil- 
lotine during the Reign of Terror. He died honorably 
at Thore May 10, 1807. Americans have never for- 
gotten his great assistance at the birth of their Nation. 
His statue stands at one corner of Lafayette Square, the 
beautiful park which faces the White House, in Wash- 
ington City, residence of the Presidents. 

The news that Count de Grasse was bringing his fleet 
to the Chesapeake to help the Colonists spread like wild- 
fire among the American soldiers and increased their 
morale tremendously. Their camps were merry with 
songs and the joy in Philadelphia was manifested by the 
crowds that passed before La Luzerne, representative 
of the French Government in the new Republic. He 
and France were cheered to the echo. 

"You have," wrote Rochambeau to Admiral de 
Grasse, "spread universal joy throughout America, with 
which she is wild." 

De Grasse, before leaving the West Indies, had great 
difficulty in obtaining the money needed for the naval 
campaign, although he offered to mortgage for it his 
castle of Tilly, and the Chevalier de Charitte, in com- 
mand of the man-of-war Bourgogne, made a like offer. 

News Releases 387 

At last, with the aid of the Spanish governor of Havana, 
he obtained the desired amount of 1,200,000 francs. 

"It can truly be said," wrote the former French Am- 
bassador to the United States, J. J. Jusserand, in 1916, 
"that no single man risked more, or did more, for the 
United States than de Grasse, the single one of the lead- 
ers to whom no memorial has been dedicated." 

The chapter of the Daughters of the American Revo- 
lution located at and near Yorktown, is however, known 
as the "De Grasse Chapter," which is evidence that the 
American people never forgot his great services to their 

De Grasse brought more than his ships and sailors. 
With him came the Marquis de Saint-Simon with 3,000 
regular French troops under his command. 

Marquis de Lafayette, for whom the American people 
have always had great affection that represents in large 
measure their love for France, was 19 and a captain of 
dragoons in France when the English Colonies in Amer- 
ica proclaimed their independence. 

"At the first news of this quarrel," he wrote after- 
ward in his memoirs, "my heart was enrolled in it." 

Through Silas Deane, then the American representa- 
tive in Paris, Lafayette arranged to enter the American 
military service as a major general in December, 1776. 
At the time that the young marquis was ready to sail 
for America news was received of grave reverses to the 
American arms — and even the American envoys, Benja- 
min Franklin and Arthur Lee, who had superseded 
Deane, withheld further encouragement, and the French 
king himself forbade his leaving. 

But finally, after many vicissitudes, the ardent young 

388 Washington Bicentennial 

soldier and lover of liberty succeeded in evading British 
ships that had been ordered to capture him and landed 
at Georgetown, S. C. When this boy of 19 presented 
himself to Congress at Philadelphia with authority from 
Deane to demand the highest rank in the Continental 
Army next to the Commander in Chief, it must be ad- 
mitted that for a time his reception was somewhat 
chilly. Appreciating the difficulties of the new Gov- 
ernment, Lafayette offered to serve without pay and 
act as a volunteer. So different were these conditions 
from those asked by some other foreign officers who 
wanted to serve in the American Army that Congress 
hesitated no longer, but passed a resolution July 31, 
1777, accepting his services, praising his zeal and mak- 
ing him a major general of the Continental Army. 

It was next day that the lad met General Washing- 
ton, whose lifelong friend he became. Congress had in- 
tended his rank to be purely honorary, but this did not 
suit the young French officer. 

In his first battle at Brandywine he showed great 
courage and was wounded. Soon thereafter Washing- 
ton gave him what he most desired, the command of a 
division of troops. He fought in numerous engage- 
ments and received the thanks of Congress for his brav- 
ery and zeal. 

After a mission to France in 1779 on behalf of the 
Colonies, which consumed about six months, he re- 
turned to America and was given charge of the defense 
of Virginia. He borrowed money on his own account 
to provide necessities for his soldiers. His part in the 
decisive battle of Yorktown was a very important and 
an honorable one. Thereafter he obtained leave from 

News Releases 389 

the army and returned to France to use his influence 
in favor of a general peace, in which the Independence 
of the United States would be recognized by Great 
Britain and the other nations of Europe. 

The dramatic story of Lafayette's part in the events 
of the French Revolution, his military campaigns in 
Europe and his five years' confinement in Prussian and 
Austrian prisons is too well known to require repetition. 
After his memorable visit to the United States in 1824, 
he took his seat in the French Chamber of Deputies, 
a place which he held until his death at Paris, May 20, 

Lafayette's services to the United States and the love 
which the American people bore him is manifested in 
numerous statues throughout the land and the naming 
of many towns and cities for him. 

Like his distinguished father, his son, George Wash- 
ington de Lafayette, became a soldier and had a dis- 
tinguished military career in Europe. 

The French people, like those of so many other coun- 
tries, have always had a profound admiration for George 
Washington. On account of the close, father- and-son 
attitude of Washington and Lafayette, the aid of the 
French army of Rochambeau and of the French fleet 
under de Grasse, there has always been a closer relation- 
ship with France in commemorating George Washing- 
ton, than in the case of any other foreign nation. 

When the French Bastille fell — taken by the people 
at the beginning of the French Revolution — Lafayette 
sent the key of that notorious old prison as a present to 
George Washington. 

"It is a tribute," wrote Lafayette, "which I owe as a 

390 Washington Bicentennial 

son to my adopted father, as an aide-de-camp to my 
general, as a missionary of liberty to its patriarch." 

The key — symbol of the downfall of despotism and 
the rise of freedom in France — is still at Mount Ver- 
non, where George Washington placed it. 

Polish Colonial Patriots 

The names of two great Poles will be associated with 
the name of George Washington and the founding of 
the American Republic, as long as history endures. They 
are: Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Kazimierz Pulaski. Kos- 
ciuszko was the first of that noted galaxy of foreign 
officers who volunteered for the cause of the Colonies. 
Of this noted group, only Pulaski and DeKalb gave their 
lives in the Revolution. 

Kosciuszko and Pulaski, while imbued with the same 
ideals, differed widely in their personalities and in their 
military specialties. Kosciuszko was a highly trained 
technician, while Pulaski, although regarded as a mili- 
tary genius, was more of the dashing type whom men 
would follow cheerfully to their deaths. Both men are 
credited, at different times, with saving the American 

The beginning of the year 1777 was a dark period 
for the Continental Army. The troops were ill-clad, ill- 
fed, and had suffered one defeat after another. On top 
of this it was learned that General Burgoyne was coming 
down through New York State from the north. Gen. 
Horatio Gates commanded the American Army of the 
North. Kosciuszko, who had already demonstrated his 
ability in the fortification of Philadelphia, was con- 

News Releases 391 

nected with Gates' army as an engineer. Kosciuszko 
recommended that a battery be placed on the summit 
of Sugar Loaf Hill. Unfortunately for the Colonial 
officers, General Gates was relieved of this command, 
after he had approved the Kosciuszko plan of defense. 
His successor vetoed the plan, with disastrous results. 
After the commander who relieved Gates began to sus- 
pect that he had made a mistake, he sent the same Colo- 
nel Wilkinson who later carried to Congress the report 
of the capture of Burgoyne to inspect the defenses. Wil- 
kinson promptly wrote: "For the love of God let Kos- 
ciuszko return here, and as quickly as possible." Un- 
fortunately, this belated recommendation of Kosciusz- 
ko's plan of defense was too late. The English, already 
on Lake Champlain, themselves followed Kosciuszko's 

When Gates was restored to his command, he com- 
missioned Kosciuszko to devise a plan for the defense 
of Saratoga and to check the British advance. Kos- 
ciuszko fortified Bemis Heights. The Americans crushed 
Burgoyne's force in the Saratoga valley, and hope flamed 
anew in the hearts of the Colonists. Following this vic- 
tory at Saratoga, one of the decisive engagements of 
history, many European powers recognized the inde- 
pendence of the United States, even though the war had 
not been concluded. 

Historians point to Kosciuszko's part in this battle 
and in the preparation for it as showing his astounding 
worth to the American forces. A victory by Burgoyne 
at that time might easily have brought in its train com- 
plete defeat for the Colonists and might have placed an 
entirely new face upon subsequent world history. Gen- 

392 Washington Bicentennial 

eral Gates eagerly acknowledged his indebtedness to Kos- 
ciuszko in his official report to Congress. 

Kosciuszko's next task was the fortification of the 
heights of West Point. Radiere, described as an "im- 
patient, petulant officer," was originally entrusted with 
the task. He planned it on too large a scale, accom- 
plished little, and Kosciuszko was dispatched to the 
scene. The young Polish military engineer made many 
changes in the original plans and the work was pushed 
rapidly, to the satisfaction of all. By 1778 Kosciuszko 
had finished the gigantic task, and military men re- 
garded West Point as impregnable. The importance of 
the fortification was that the Hudson River was the 
only passage by which the British could cooperate with 
an army from Canada, and General Washington re- 
garded this position as indispensable. He pointed out 
that upon its security depended America's chief supplies 
of flour for the armies. 

In 1780 Tadeusz Kosciuszko was appointed chief en- 
gineer of the Army of the South, then commanded by 
Gen. Nathanael Greene. Greene found this army lacked 
clothing, food and resources generally. He sent Kos- 
ciuszko to select a camp site. The Polish engineer picked 
out a spot at the head of navigation on the Pedee, in 
fertile country unspoiled by war. There the army rested 
and discipline and spirits were revived. 

Kosciuszko retained this post until the end of the 
war. His duties generally were to survey the field of 
operations, determine sources of water and food sup- 
ply, indicate strategic points of defense and attack, and 
devise means for rapid movement of troops and provi- 
sions. The difficulties of this assignment may be im- 

News Releases 393 

agined when it is remembered that the army was operat- 
ing in marshy regions, frequently encountering great 
swamps. The fighting often of necessity became guerilla 
warfare, and at those times, despite his rank, the bril- 
liant young Polish engineer fought with the rest as a 
common soldier. Kosciuszko was not a soldier of for- 
tune by any means. He did not present himself to 
Washington under any assumed title, although that was 
frequently done at that time. He asked for no rank, 
demanded no pay. He was given the rank of Colonel- 
Engineer. Washington termed him "a gentleman of 
science and merit." 

Kosciuszko 's will, which he left with his friend 
Thomas Jefferson on his second and last departure from 
America, displayed a love of liberty extending to all 
peoples everywhere. While in Virginia he had seen 
slavery in all its phases. In his will he evidently fore- 
saw a broader scope of human freedom in America than 
that for which he was himself disinterestedly battling 
in an alien land. The famous Kosciuszko will is re- 
corded as one of the torches lighting the path of human 
progress. It follows: "I, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, being 
just on my departure from America, do hereby declare 
and direct that, should I make no other testimentary 
disposition of my property in the United States, I hereby 
authorize my friend, Thomas Jefferson, to employ the 
whole thereof in purchasing negroes from among his 
own slaves or any others, and giving them liberty in 
my name; in giving them an education in trade or other- 
wise; in having them instructed for their new condi- 
tion in the duties of morality, which may make them 
good neighbors, good fathers and mothers, husbands and 

394 Washington Bicentennial 

wives, in their duty as citizens, teaching them to be de- 
fenders of their liberty and country, of the good order 
of society, and in whatsoever may make them happy 
and useful; and I make the said Thomas Jefferson execu- 
tor of this. 
5th of May, 1798. 

" (Signed) T. Kosciuszko." 

After the war closed, on the recommendation of 
Washington, Kosciuszko was given the rank of Brigadier 
General for "long, faithful and honorable services." 
Ranking with the class of officers second only to Wash- 
ington and Greene, he with others was given a tract of 
land where the city of Columbus, capital of Ohio, now 
stands. Tributes and expressions of gratitude too nu- 
merous to detail were showered upon this foreign hero. 
Of the many foreign officers who fought in Washing- 
ton's army, Kosciuszko was one of three selected as a 
member of the Society of Cincinnati. 

Kosciuszko returned to his own country and in 1794 
led a revolt to try to strike the shackles of alien gov- 
ernments from his own people, but failed, and spent his 
declining years, after a second visit to America, in 

Kazimierz Pulaski came to America with a record 
of military daring already established in Europe, al- 
though still a very young man. Before he reached his 
majority he was a member of the Guard of Duke Charles 
of Curland. When the Polish throne was vacant, Rus- 
sian forces moved toward Warsaw, and many Poles re- 
sented this means of intimidation. They found a leader 
in Count Joseph Pulaski, who, in 1768, organized the 
Confederation of Bar, whose object was to vindicate 

News Releases 395 

the sovereign rights of Poland. The armed forces of 
the Confederation actively opposed the puppet king 
placed on the throne, but the leader of this revolt, the 
father of Kazimierz Pulaski, was betrayed by treachery 
and died in prison in 1769. 

Young Kazimierz had entered this fight at the age 
of 20 and on his father's death the chief command de- 
volved upon him. The forces under Pulaski finally went 
down to defeat and in 1772 Russia, Austria, and Prus- 
sia undertook the first partition of Poland. 

Although he emerged defeated from this long cam- 
paign, young Kazimierz Pulaski had established an 
enviable reputation as a soldier and leader of men. 
Hounded from his own country by alien enemies, Pu- 
laski sought out Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane in 
Paris and engaged to enter the American cause to fight 
for the freedom denied his own people. A year 
passed before arrangements could be perfected, but in 
June, 1777, with Lieut. Col. Kotkowski, another Polish 
patriot, he sailed for America. Franklin wrote General 
Washington as follows: "Count Pulaski of Poland, an 
officer famous throughout Europe for his bravery and 
conduct in defense of liberties of his country against the 
three great invading powers of Russia, Austria and Prus- 
sia, will have the honor of delivering this note to Your 
Excellency's hands." 

Pulaski landed at Marblehead on July 23, 1777. When 
Pulaski first met Washington, the fortunes of the Colo- 
nists were at a low ebb. New York had been lost the 
previous year; a series of defeats, desertions and lapsing 
of enlistments had reduced Washington's forces to a 
pitiful ragged handful to oppose Lord Howe's army of 

396 Washington Bicentennial 

30,000 thoroughly equipped and well supplied soldiers. 

Washington sent a letter introducing Count Pulaski 
to the Continental Congress, urging that he be given a 
commission. Delays held up Congressional action, 
which did not at all suit the dashing Polish officer. 
Washington's army had gone to meet the enemy, so Pu- 
laski went also, although having no official standing. 
Washington wrote Hancock, introducing Pulaski's plan 
for a mounted corps. Two weeks later, before the letter 
could be considered by Congress, Count Pulaski received 
his American baptism of fire at the battle of Brandy- 
wine, although holding no command or commission. 

Howe, at the head of 20,000 troops, was marching to 
capture Philadelphia. Washington drew his poorly 
equipped and poorly trained men, numbering half as 
many, across the British advance. Howe and Corn- 
wallis flanked the Continental army, routing one wing, 
and forced Washington to retreat. The absence of a 
mounted force had left Washington in the dark so far 
as reliable and prompt information of British move- 
ments was concerned. In this engagement, at a critical 
time, Washington gave Pulaski command of his own 
bodyguard of 30 horses. Although this was a pitifully 
inadequate weapon, with his small detachment Pulaski 
charged the oncoming British, retarded their advance 
and checkmated an effort to cut off the American ave- 
nue of retreat and capture the American baggage. Four 
days after this, Congress named Pulaski "Commander 
of the horse, with the rank of Brigadier." In short, this 
dashing young Polish fighter was the first American 
chief of cavalry. 

Five days after the battle of Brandywine, on Septem- 

News Releases 397 

ber 16, 1777, Pulaski saved the army of Washington 
from a surprise attack that might have proven disas- 
trous. Reconnoitering with his cavalry, he found a 
British army near Warren Tavern. Hastily apprising 
Washington of the situation, he harassed the enemy, im- 
peding their progress sufficiently to give Washington 
time to complete his preparations for battle. 

Pulaski saw little of the terrible winter at Valley 
Forge. The last day of 1777 he was ordered to Trenton 
to establish a camp to instruct and condition the soldiers 
for the next campaign. The latter part of February 
of the next year Pulaski with 50 men joined Gen. An- 
thony Wayne, who had 250 New Jersey militiamen. 
The combined forces, small though they were in num- 
bers, were ordered to thwart an attack by which the 
British planned to secure supplies from Philadelphia. 
On March 3, 1778, the British were met at Haddon- 
field, N. J. In this encounter Pulaski's horse was shot 
dead under him and he personally took seven prisoners. 
General Wayne, reporting the battle, said that "Pulaski 
behaved with his usual bravery." 

Pulaski was dissatisfied with the condition of the cav- 
alry he commanded, and also with the inadequate at- 
tention given his pleas for reorganization and strength- 
ening of this arm of the service. As he also felt the 
lack of cooperation on the part of some of his officers 
who objected to a leader relatively unacquainted with 
English, Pulaski resigned his command in March, 1778. 
He then requested Washington and the Continental 
Congress to permit him to organize an independent 
force which became famous later as the "Pulaski Le- 
gion." To the credit of the Continental Congress, it 

398 Washington Bicentennial 

adopted a resolution retaining for Count Pulaski his 
rank of Brigadier General and giving him the permis- 
sion he desired. 

The next month Pulaski opened a recruiting office 
in Baltimore and by July of 1778 had raised, organized, 
and disciplined an independent corps made up of three 
companies of cavalry and three of infantry. The officers 
were chiefly Polish and French. Pulaski's Legion served 
as the model upon which General Lee's independent le- 
gions were organized in the following century during 
the Civil War. The famous banner made for his legion 
by the Moravian Nuns is still preserved by the Mary- 
land Historical Society of Baltimore. 

Far from seeking to enhance his own fortunes at the 
expense of the struggling Colonists, Pulaski spent a 
great deal of his own money in raising and equipping 
his own legion. Addressing Congress in September, 
1778, he said he had expended at least $16,000 of his 
own money. This was only a few months after the in- 
dependent corps began its existence. Later Captain 
Baldesquin, paymaster of the Legion, told Congress 
Pulaski had spent for it at least $50,000 of his own 
money. In the fall of 1778 the Legion took the field, 
its first operations being at Egg Harbor, N. J., to pro- 
tect a privateer base. The infantry portion of the Le- 
gion was surprised there by the British on October 15, 
and Lieut. Col. Baron DeBose, a Pole, was slain. Pu- 
laski's cavalry rescued the infantry and drove back the 

After further service in Minisink region in New Jer- 
sey, Pulaski, with part of his force moved South, reach- 
ing Charleston, S. C, on May 8. Three days later the 

News Releases 399 

remainder of the Legion arrived. The same day a Brit- 
ish force under General Provost crossed the Ashley River 
with 900 men and was sharply attacked by Pulaski's 
men. This engagement was of little importance except 
for the fact that this prompt and bold attack greatly 
raised the spirits of the people and inspired the inex- 
perienced troops then in the city with confidence. 

When the governor and council of Charleston were 
ready to surrender the city to the British, Pulaski, sec- 
onded by General Moultrie and Colonel Laurens, per- 
suaded them to reject the plan and that same night Gen- 
eral Provost retreated across the river, having learned 
that General Lincoln was marching toward Charleston 
with a force of 4,000 men. 

Savannah was a British stronghold and General Lin- 
coln intended to besiege it. Count Pulaski and General 
Mcintosh preceded the main army, to attack and harass 
British outposts. The siege of Savannah started Sep- 
tember 16, with Count d'Estaing with a French fleet 
aiding the siege from the sea. The French commander 
finally requested that the city be attacked by storm, 
to which plan General Lincoln consented after some 
hesitation. Accordingly, on October 9 the order went 
forth that the British ramparts were to be stormed. The 
cavalry of the French and the Americans was com- 
manded by Pulaski. He was to charge the embattle- 
ments and the infantry were ordered to storm the right 
of the British line. 

The well laid plans went wrong due to the treachery 
of an American soldier who deserted after the orders 
were announced. Consequently enemy troops were 
massed at point of attack and deadly fire repulsed the 

400 Washington Bicentennial 

assailants. Count d'Estaing tried to advance directly 
across a swamp, but a deadly cross-fire wrought havoc 
among his men. Seeing the confusion and knowing that 
something had gone wrong with the plans, Pulaski, at 
the head of his cavalry, dashed to reinforce and en- 
courage the French, at the same time hoping to find an 
opening through which he could slip to the rear of the 
British. Riding through a withering flame of enemy 
shells, he was struck in the groin and fell to the ground 
mortally wounded. 

The heroic Polish commander was carried away by his 
own soldiers, placed on the American brig Wasp under 
the care of skilled French surgeons. However, gangrene 
had set in and two days later, on October 11, 1779, he 
was buried at sea. When the Wasp sailed into Charles- 
ton harbor with her flag at half mast and it became 
known that the gallant Pulaski was dead, the city went 
into general mourning. High honors were paid to the 
memory of the dashing cavalryman by the city, the 
State, and the Continental Congress. 

Thus ended, at the age of 31 years, the career of a 
gallant soldier who had made himself an heroic figure 
both in America and in Europe. 

On the 150th anniversary of the siege of Savannah, 
October 9-11, 1929, nation-wide tribute was paid to 
the memory of this fighter for freedom. President 
Hoover and the Congress of the United States designated 
a committee to head the national observance of the an- 
niversary of Pulaski's death, and cities and States from 
coast to coast united in paying the highest honors to 
the memory of this distinguished Pole who laid down 

News Releases 401 

his life in the cause of the American Independence led 
by George Washington. 

German Colonial Patriots 

The part played by the Germans both in the Colo- 
nial wars and in the War of the Revolution is notable, 
not alone in the fact that practically all Germans liv- 
ing in America were loyal to the cause of American In- 
dependence, and that in the matter of bravery, disci- 
pline and military knowledge they contributed to sup- 
ply the important deficiencies that the Continental 
Army so sadly lacked, but the German element in all 
of the Colonies represented a solid leadership that gave 
confidence to the general public. 

The French and Indian War constituted the great 
school of military training for the Colonies. It was the 
experience gained in these operations that furnished the 
training and the skill which were the bases of Wash- 
ington's qualifications for military leadership and for 
the thousands of Colonists who, at one time or another, 
were brought into this service. 

It is true there existed in the Colonies a large number 
of German Sectarians — Mennonites, Quakers, Dunkards, 
Seventh-Day Baptists, and others whose religion forbade 
the use of arms. They, like the English Quakers, rep- 
resented the spirit of non-resistance which brought 
much suffering upon the frontier settlers during the 
French and Indian Wars. But if these religious groups 
did not bear arms, they were nevertheless beneficient 
cooperators in the cause of American Independence 
through generous money contributions and the willing 

402 Washington Bicentennial 

payment of extra taxes imposed upon them in lieu of 
military service. 

The splendid achievements of the Germans of the 
Mohawk Valley in their resistance to the hostile advances 
of the French and Indian allies in the frontier campaigns 
is an epic in heroism and achievement. These opera- 
tions were under the direction of that staunch and 
courageous man, General Herkimer, and no other cam- 
paign in all the long list of Colonial exploits rivals for 
sheer heroism these engagements of the Germans of that 
great Valley. 

In like manner the large German population of the 
Valley of Virginia rose in militant defense of the cause 
of liberty. I can not let this occasion pass without ref- 
erence to that dramatic and effective gesture that was 
made by Peter Muhlenberg, the militant preacher of 
Woodstock, Va. He was most active in all the affairs 
of the Colonists in relation to the growing spirit of lib- 
erty, and it was his last sermon at Woodstock in Janu- 
ary, 1776, that Muhlenberg ended his sermon which 
was notable, by declaring that "there was a time for 
preaching and praying, but also a time for battle, and 
that such a time had now come." He pronounced the 
benediction, then threw off his clerical robes and be- 
hold, minister no more, he stood in the uniform of a 
Colonel of the Continental Army. As he slowly de- 
scended from the pulpit the drums were beaten outside 
the church for the mustering of soldiers in the cause of 
freedom. Four hundred men responded to that call. 
Colonel Muhlenberg served throughout the war with 
great distinction and effect. It is an interesting fact 
that the great State of Pennsylvania, of which Peter 

News Releases 403 

Muhlenberg was a native, so signally honored his mem- 
ory as to give to him one of the two places assigned that 
State in Statuary Hall of the National Capitol. This 
beautiful marble statue depicts Muhlenberg in the act 
of throwing off his clerical robes and stepping from 
the pulpit, a Colonel of the Revolutionary Army. 

Let us consider, for a moment, the case of a more 
humble, but none the less patriotic man, one Christopher 
Ludwig, of Philadelphia, an aggressive patriot. He was 
a baker, but was early made a member of the "Powder 
Committee" and did effective work. When Governor 
Mifflin made a motion in a Philadelphia mass meeting 
that a collection be taken for the purchase of arms and 
ammunition and several voices were heard in opposi- 
tion, Ludwig rose and said in broken English: "Mr. 
President, I am of course only a poor gingerbread baker, 
but write me down for two hundred pounds." Later, 
after he had served energetically on the "Powder Com- 
mittee," he was put in charge of all the baking of the 
entire army. It was demanded of him that he furnish 
100 pounds of bread for every 100 pounds of flour. 
"No," said he, "Christopher Ludwig does not wish to 
become rich by the war. He has enough. Out of one 
hundred pounds of flour one gets one hundred and 
thirty-five pounds of bread and so many will I give." 
Immediately after the surrender of Yorktown, Ludwig 
was ordered to bake bread for the army of Cornwallis. 
Ludwig baked 6,000 pounds of bread in one day. 

After it was discovered that treachery existed in the 
troops immediately surrounding the person of George 
Washington, it was decided to form a bodyguard for 
him, and this bodyguard was made up almost exclu- 

404 Washington Bicentennial 

sively of Germans. Later Washington paid a signal 
tribute to these guardsmen for their fidelity and their 

Before considering the outstanding services of Baron 
Steuben, I would like to recall the names of only some 
of that luminous list of heroes of the German race, 
whose services and sacrifices are written brilliantly upon 
the scroll of America's roll of fame. In the Valley of 
Virginia there were such men as H. M. Muhlenberg 
and his son Peter, before mentioned, Schlatter, and in 
Pennsylvania there were a few German Tories, but 
practically the whole mass of the great German element 
in that State were sympathetic with the cause of free- 
dom. Among the Philadelphia leaders mention has been 
made of the picturesque Christopher Ludwig. There 
were Schlosser, Engel, Hillegas, Hubley, Barge, Ross, 
Ferree, Slough, Erwin, Schultz, Potts, Kuchlein, Arndt, 
Weitzel, Hasenclever, Melcher, Wagner, and scores of 
others. In Georgia there were John Stirk, John Adam 
Treutlen, Jacob Waldhauer, John Fieri, and Christopher 
Cramer. Others leaders of the South were Samuel 
Stirk, William Holsendorf, and John Stork, who were 
officers under Wayne. 

There were several German battalions, commanded 
by German officers, and in almost every regiment there 
were entire companies of Germans, who acquitted them- 
selves in a manner that found commendation at the 
hands of General Washington. 

Of all the distinguished foreigners who aided the 
American cause none did more real service than Baron 
von Steuben, the drillmaster of the American forces. 
In the words of Hamilton: "He benefited the country 

News Releases 405 

of his adoption by introducing into the army a regular 
formation and exact discipline, and by establishing a 
spirit of order and economy in the interior adminis- 
tration of the regiments." He had had long and 
arduous training in many Prussian campaigns and as 
aide of Frederick the Great. When on a visit to Paris 
he found a stirring atmosphere of sympathy with the 
American cause. He met many persons who were fired 
by enthusiasm, and finally had a talk with Benjamin 
Franklin, who was then in Paris representing the 
Colonies. Steuben was, perhaps, the greatest profes- 
sional soldier of his time. That he chose to give up his 
promising connections, his large income, and chances 
of advancement in Europe to come to America and 
enlist as a volunteer "for any duty which the Com- 
mander in Chief might assign him," and for no other 
pay than his actual expenses, speaks most eloquently of 
his love of liberty and devotion to the American cause. 
It happened that no greater need existed in the 
American Army than that which von Steuben could 
and did supply. The Americans were, for the most 
part, wholly inexperienced in military affairs. They 
were merely groups of patriots, undrilled, badly armed, 
almost unclothed, and utterly unfit to meet the cream 
of the British veterans. It was indeed a pitiful "army" 
that von Steuben saw when he came here. As one com- 
mentator put it, it was merely a "disspirited mob, with- 
out cohesion or discipline." The army was at the lowest 
ebb. Washington was at Valley Forge with little more 
than 5,000 effective men, and these poorly armed and 
clothed in rags. But Steuben saw possibilities in these 
men. He at once took charge and "created an army 

406 Washington Bicentennial 

out of a mob, transferred farmers and tradesmen into 
soldiers," so that after infinite patience and the hardest 
kind of work, the American Army finally emerged 
from under his hand an organized, disciplined, and 
mobile body. His service can not be overpraised. Not 
only did he drill, drill, drill these men, but he effected 
economies that saved vast sums of money. One instance 
of the latter service will illustrate the point. The war 
office, instead of having to count upon an annual loss 
of from five to eight thousand muskets, could enter 
upon its records in one year of Steuben's inspectorship 
only three muskets missing, and even these three were 
accounted for. 

At Yorktown Steuben was the only American officer 
who had ever been present at a siege. His experience 
was of great value. He was actually in command at 
the time that overtures for surrender were made and 
when the enemy's flag was lowered. During the last 
two years of the war the discipline of the regular Amer- 
ican troops could well be compared to that of European 

After the war von Steuben continued to serve this 
country in placing its military establishment upon a 
firm foundation. "If," says the Historian Faust, "men 
are classed according to their services, no one in the 
military history of the Revolution, after Washington 
and Greene, stands so high as Steuben." 

Another of the great fighting generals that Germany 
supplied in the Revolutionary forces was John Kalb, 
referred to as Baron de Kalb. He was a Bavarian and 
born soldier. He was employed as secret agent of the 
French Government in 1768 to inspect the condition of 

News Releases 407 

the English Colonies. After his return to Europe he 
married a wealthy Dutch lady. Nevertheless, he de- 
cided to come to America again with Lafayette in 1777. 
He offered his services to Congress, saying that he would 
be willing to take any employment that General Wash- 
ington might give him. He rose rapidly because of his 
great ability. Indeed, fate seemed to have taken a hand 
in the languishing affairs of the Colonies, and for each 
particular need there arose a man fully qualified to meet 
it. In time of stress and dire necessity no men per- 
formed more heroically or were their performances more 
timely than those of the Germans. We in America to- 
day are proud to do them that high honor to which 
their noble and unselfish deeds entitle them. 

The Swedes in the American Revolution 

The observance next year of the two hundredth an- 
niversary of the birth of George Washington should 
appeal to all the people in the United States because it 
has been planned that this be a people's celebration. This 
celebration will be taken to the people — a procedure dif- 
fering from that of the usual celebration. To this end 
there has been no provision for a national exposition 
or any other similarly spectacular and localized display. 
The purpose behind the entire program is to create in 
the hearts of everyone who enjoys the liberty which pre- 
vails in this Nation, a greater appreciation for George 
Washington, the ideals typified in him and the ines- 
timable service he rendered in establishing the inde- 
pendence and prosperity of the United States. 

To direct and effect suitable plans for this nation-wide 
observance, the Congress of the United States created 

408 Washington Bicentennial 

the United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission. Actuated by the motive stated above, this 
Commission has constantly stressed the ideals involved 
and has prepared a great program entirely in harmony 
with the instructions of Congress to create adequate 
plans for the event in 1932. The projects now au- 
thorized and under way are designed for the participa- 
tion of every individual and every State, city and town 
in the country. 

George Washington belongs to all Americans whether 
native born or adopted. The country which he founded 
is now made up of men and women who themselves have 
come here from other countries, or whose ancestors, 
immediate or remote, left the lands of their birth to 
make homes in America. 

Among the finest citizens of the United States to- 
day are descendants of those hardy Vikings whose dis- 
covery of this continent antedated by several hundred 
years the journey and exploration made by the immortal 
Columbus. However, the first Swedish people who 
came to settle in America did not arrive until 1638 when 
New Sweden, a little colony on the Delaware, was es- 
tablished under the direction of Peter Minuit. The 
descendants of these people, together with those of later 
immigrants, have contributed many notable names to 
America's history. 

Among the heroes of the American Revolution were 
men who left their own homes to fight for the inde- 
pendence of a foreign country. The Frenchmen, Poles, 
Irish, and Germans who served in this manner have long 
been celebrated and acclaimed, but the Swedish volun- 
teers in the conflict have been neglected or confused 

News Releases 409 

with the French. It was perhaps only natural that the 
identity of the Swedes should be lost in the forces of 
France, for it was under the flag of that country that 
most of them served. Many times the names of the 
Swedish officers were changed by the French, and this 
only added to the confusion. 

Despite the scrambled condition of old records, re- 
cent investigations have revealed the fact that Sweden 
contributed many officers to the French expeditionary 
forces during the Revolutionary War. Most of these 
men served in the navy, and that is perhaps another 
reason why they have not been given the recognition 
to which they are entitled; for only in the land service 
could a man hope for advancement and distinction. No 
foreigner could legally command a warship in the 
French service, and the Colonies had no navy of their 
own in which merit might be rewarded, previous to 
the Revolutionary War. In the army it was different. 
Here the Colonies had rank and position to offer, and 
many foreign officers secured enviable commissions in 
the Continental army. Those few who did enter the 
naval service deserve to be commended for their willing 
participation in a branch in which the subordinates of 
John Paul Jones and other naval heroes did not secure 
high rank. 

Although the army afforded the means for the more 
spectacular service, the successes which were won on 
land might never have been secured had it not been for 
the French navy. It has been the custom to narrow 
the entire Revolution to the battles which were fought 
on the American continent, but while these were cer- 
tainly important factors in the final outcome, it must 

410 Washington Bicentennial 

not be supposed that the great conflict was confined 
to this restricted theater. 

Much of the foreign aid which the Colonies received 
was obtained through the French navy, which was re- 
sponsible for conveying men and supplies across the 
ocean to America. 

Whenever a British battleship was captured, disabled 
or sunk in any part of the world, the loss reduced by 
just that much England's chances to dominate the sea. 
Thus many of the Swedish officers who never saw Amer- 
ican soil, rendered no less heroic and valuable service 
than did other foreigners who participated in the im- 
portant military campaign in the Colonies. Something 
of the importance of the naval engagements is shown 
by the fact that the victory which de Suff ren won from 
the British in Far Eastern waters at the time peace ne- 
gotiations were being conducted in Paris, contributed 
not a little toward the favorable terms upon which 
peace was finally concluded. 

When France became the avowed ally of the Colonies 
and openly arrayed herself against England, the French 
were besieged with requests from other governments 
for commissions in the army destined for America. All 
these applications could not be accepted, but the French 
king did want men for his navy, as was indicated by 
a letter from the Swedish Minister at the court of Louis 
to his monarch, Gustavus III. This epistle states that 
Swedish naval officers "have distinguished themselves in 
such a marked way and shown such evident talent that 
they are eagerly sought, by preference, in all fields of 
naval activity." The fact that several of these Swedes 
who served in the Revolution later became admirals in 

News Releases 411 

the Swedish navy may be taken as an indication of their 

Besides the assistance rendered the Colonies by these 
Swedish officers, there was the unofficial aid given by 
Sweden herself. Some historians have held that the 
geographical position of that nation proved the most 
serious obstacle to her entrance into the Revolution as 
an ally of France and America. As it was, the ships 
of the Colonies, whether privateers, warships or freight- 
ers, were allowed the use of Swedish ports, where they 
frequently sought shelter or refreshment. This assist- 
ance was valuable to the Americans, not only because 
of the material good enjoyed directly by the crews of 
these ships, but also because of the effect it produced on 
Great Britain. Despite Sweden's strong friendship for 
France, Swedish neutrality had to be maintained, al- 
though it was merely nominal most of the time. Swe- 
den was the first neutral country to recognize the inde- 
pendence of the United States, and, on April 3, 1783, 
signed a treaty of amity and commerce with the new 

In addition to the assistance which the Colonies re- 
ceived through these channels, there was the not incon- 
siderable factor which was supplied by the presence in 
the Continental Army, under the command of George 
Washington and his generals, of officers and men who 
were descendants of the Swedes of Delaware. Although 
it is difficult to fix definitely the nationality of many 
of these soldiers, yet there can be no reasonable doubt 
that the Swedish Americans furnished proportionately 
as many patriot volunteers as did any other group in 
the country at that time. A research conducted re- 

412 Washington Bicentennial 

cently by a professor of a prominent university has dis- 
closed the fact that unmistakably Swedish names are 
noticably absent from the lists of deserters which were 
published by the newspapers during the Revolution. 

From all records now accessible, it appears that about 
70 Swedish officers took some part in the American 
Revolution. The majority of these saw service in the 
United States or in North American waters. One of 
these, Count von Fersen, distinguished himself as an 
aide to Rochambeau, and took an active and responsible 
part in the preparations for the siege at Yorktown. This 
young nobleman, together with his countryman, Col. 
Curt von Stedingk, later made a count, were elected 
to the Order of the Cincinnati, of which society George 
Washington was the first president. Alongside these 
illustrious names are those of many Swedes who served 
in lesser capacities but whose contributions entitle them 
to recognition. Among these are Baron von Fock who 
distinguished himself at Yorktown; Baron Nordensk- 
jold, who participated in the siege at Savannah and later 
became vice admiral in the Swedish Navy; Magnus Dan- 
iel Palmquist, who fought at Pensacola and Yorktown; 
Carl Raab, killed at Savannah, and many more who 
can not here be named for lack of space. 

Among the descendants of the early Delaware Swedes 
who figured prominently in the Revolutionary War are 
John Hanson, president of Congress in 1781, and John 
Morton, signer of the Declaration of Independence. It 
was Hanson's signature, with that of Daniel Carroll, 
on the Articles of Confederation which put that docu- 
ment into effect in 1781. Oddly enough, it was John 
Morton who later cast the vote which made the neces- 

News Releases 413 

sary majority in the Pennsylvania delegation for the 
Declaration of Independence. He placed his own name 
on that immortal instrument and earned for his State 
the soubriquet "Keystone State." Later, while Hanson 
was "President of the United States in Congress As- 
sembled," it became his duty to felicitate General Wash- 
ington on behalf of his country directly after the Brit- 
ish surrender at Yorktown. 

These facts indicate that Swedish subjects and de- 
scendants of Swedish immigrants to this country par- 
ticipated in a commendable manner in the American 
Revolution — that great struggle to which George Wash- 
ington gave his best, and to which the United States 
owes its freedom. That the achievements of the Swedish 
officers were less spectacular and not of as momentous 
consequence as those of some other participants, is 
agreed. The Swedes were men of valor and ability who 
contributed to the American cause all that was possible 
under the circumstances, and the Swedish people today 
may well be proud of the records made by their coun- 

Irish Colonial Patriots 

Throughout America, in the Colonial Wars and in 
the War of the Revolution, the Irish displayed a most 
notable and courageous loyalty in their fight for Amer- 
ican independence. 

The first of the Irish to reach America came over 
in 1621, landing in Massachusetts. In later periods, up 
until 1718, they came in scattered but large groups and 
thence on and during the War of the Revolution. Many 
of them found their way into the New England States, 

414 Washington Bicentennial 

into Pennsylvania, and the Middle States, and then into 
the South. The American Colonies were almost wholly 
planted with the Irish as they came from Ulster. The 
disastrous circumstances of Irish history continued to 
drive great bodies of them to America to seek a home 
and to fight for the cause of liberty. Many of these 
Irish had military training and had seen service in other 
countries, which made them a valuable aid to the cause. 
The Irish from their circumstances were a very military 
body. They were eminently brave and susceptible to 
discipline. Records show that they furnished much of 
the military skill and training so badly needed at that 
time. It was generally conceded that the army of 
General Washington was at least 40 per cent Irish. 

One of the significant facts of the Revolutionary 
War is that the French and Irish troops sent here came 
upon their own request. The Irish regiments in the 
French Army, and more particularly the ones under 
command of Count Dillon, addressed a petition to the 
French war office asking to be sent to America to fight 
their so-called hereditary enemy. The request seems to 
have been willingly and quickly granted. Their first 
battle was at the siege of Savannah in 1779, where they 
fought with much heroism and sacrifice under Count 
Dillon, who was wounded and refused to leave the field. 

The Irish through their different societies contributed 
largely and generously of money in aid of the patriotic 
cause. So eager were they to fight in the cause of 
liberty that many large families of 6, 8 and 10 sons 
went with their father to battle. Conspicuous among 
these were the 10 sons of Judge Gaston, of the 

News Releases 415 

General Washington, in 1776, expressed grave fear 
that, in any unfavorable turn in American affairs, the 
enemy might recruit soldiers faster than the Revolu- 
tionists. The enemy entertained a like expectation. 
But in the face of attempts of coercion and bribery, the 
Irish remained entirely loyal to the new country of 
their adoption. It was the hope of the enemy to sup- 
press the rebellion by sowing seeds of disaffection 
among the American troops. In this they were doomed 
to disappointment by the large desertion of many of 
the Irish from their ranks, who joined later the great 
army of Irish already here. 

In their native land the Irish manifested much 
sympathy for the American cause, not only welcoming 
the American privateers to their seaports and supplying 
them with provisions, but throwing every obstacle in 
the way of the enemy in raising troops to fight the 
American Revolutionists. 

It is true there existed in the Colonies many of other 
lands, but a very large part of the rank and file of 
the patriotic army was of Irish birth or descent. Sev- 
eral of the more prominent generals were of this blood, 
while Irish regimental commanders, minor officers, and 
privates ran well into the thousands. One-fourth of 
the commissioned officers in the army and navy were 
Irish or of Irish descent. The first general officer ap- 
pointed, General Montgomery, was killed in battle; the 
first officer of artillery; the first commodore commis- 
sioned, John Barry, to whom the British flag was struck 
at sea; and the first officer who surprised a fort by land, 
were all Irishmen. And with such enthusiasm did these 
emigrants from the Emerald Isle carry on the fight 

416 Washington Bicentennial 

and espouse the cause of liberty that Lord Mountjoy 
declared in English Parliament, "You lost America by 
the Irish." 

The whole history of Irish participation in the Revo- 
lutionary War is replete with noble deeds, courage, and 
sacrifices. Commodore John Barry offered his services 
to Congress at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, 
giving up at that time one of the finest ships afloat to 
espouse the cause. He commanded an American 
cruiser in the first sea capture of the war. So highly 
creditable did General Washington think this exploit 
that he received the warmest commendation from him. 
Barry's conduct won him admiration from friend and 
foe alike. Sir William Howe, then commander in chief 
of the British forces, offered the daring officer 20,000 
guineas and command of a British frigate if he would 
desert the service of the American Navy. Barry re- 
plied: "Not the value and command of the whole British 
fleet, can seduce me from the cause of my country." 
Throughout Barry's entire career in the navy his actions 
were filled with glorious deeds of heroism. 

Of the first four generals of the army to be 
appointed by General Washington, two of them were 
Irish. The first, General Montgomery, fell mortally 
wounded at the Battle of Quebec; the other, General 
Sullivan, one of the bravest of them all, fought at the 
Battle of Long Island, where the Hessians contended 
desperately against him, telling their men that the 
Americans would not suffer one of them to live and 
their sentiment was total extinction. General Wash- 
ington viewed this battle from the hills in South Brook- 
lyn and witnessed the slaughter of his troops. Wring- 

News Releases 417 

ing his hands at sight of this, he cried: "Good God, 
what brave fellows I must this day lose." General 
Sullivan also participated in the Battles of Brandywine, 
Germantown, and at Trenton. Right here it would be 
well to mention that Col. Henry Knox, an Irishman, a 
warm friend of General Washington, should share 
equally with General Washington and General Sullivan 
the glory of Trenton. Colonel Knox also superin- 
tended bravely the passage of the army of General Wash- 
ington in the famous crossing of the Delaware River 
through darkness and floating ice, causing General 
Washington to enthusiastically refer to Knox as "a man 
of great military reading, sound judgment, and clear 
conception, and one of the most valuable officers in 
the service." 

The Moores, Rutledges, Jacksons, Polks, Calhouns, 
and many other able Irishmen distinguished themselves 
in the Carolinas. They became leaders of high reputa- 
tion, two of them becoming Presidents of the United 
States, and the others governors, Senators, and chiefs 
of the army and navy. Others of the Irish at that time 
in many sections of the country played important and 
daring parts in American history — Fitzgerald, Fitz- 
simmon, Shields, Sheridan, Emmett, O'Connor, Gilmor, 
Logan, Fulton, Gorman, Geary, Cavanagh, and Lynchs 
and Moores innumerable — all helped to establish and 
maintain the American Republic. 

The splendid achievements of the army at the Battle 
of Bunker Hill was largely due to the loyal spirit shown 
by the Irish, who comprised a large part of the Amer- 
ican Army. Poorly armed, undisciplined, without sup- 
plies, they took no time to consider chances of success, 

418 Washington Bicentennial 

but rushed eagerly into the fray, without hope of pay 
for their dangerous service. They were kept together 
solely by virtuous patriotism. 

At the Battle of Fort Washington a humble woman, 
married to a young Virginian, who joined Col. Thomas 
Proctor's regiment, saw her husband fall in battle. He 
was killed at his gun. She was serving in the regiment 
as a volunteer nurse and jumped into his place, and so 
well did she serve his gun she is said to have caused 
terrible havoc among the enemy. General Washington 
at that time had been an interested spectator on the 
opposite side of the Hudson. Nothing encouraged him 
more than this gallant deed, and the style in which the 
troops fought, and that against a much superior force. 
But when this force was being cut down and bayoneted 
while begging quarter, he wept like a child. 

All during the War of the Revolution the women 
vied with the men in doing their share of the fighting 
and taking places in the fight for liberty. They, like 
the men, showed absolute indifference to danger. 

Virginia produced one of the most eloquent men of 
the entire Revolutionary period, Patrick Henry, who 
is entitled to a place of much honor in the part played 
by the Irish. He was of noble Irish birth and was one 
of the most powerful influences in the Revolution. 
His masterly eloquence, his words of fire, found their 
way into the most remote settlements, giving to the 
people the confidence they needed. Many credit him 
today, for the speech he made at the Virginia Conven- 
tion in March, 1775, with contributing more to inde- 
pendence than any battle of the Revolution. 

Foremost among the Irishmen who threw their 

News Releases 419 

influences and fortunes on the side of independence 
was Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, one of the signers 
of the Declaration of Independence. Like all great 
men, he never put forward his personality except in 
cases of emergency. While he was in the act of sign- 
ing the Declaration of Independence he was taunted 
with the remark that there were so many Carrolls he 
could sign his name with impunity. Stung by this 
remark, he immediately signed two additional words, 
"of Carrollton," after his name, thereby committing 
his whole life and fortune to the Revolution. 

Of what more gallant spirits in American annals 
than Capt. John Brady, the famous scout; Timothy 
Murphy, who turned the tide of battle at Saratoga; 
Maj. John Kelley, who destroyed the bridge over 
Assunpink Creek at the Battle of Trenton, preventing 
the capture of Washington's Army in its retreat across 
the Delaware; James Gibbons, who commanded the 
forlorn hope at the storming of Stony Point; Capt. 
William O'Neill and his gallant band, who held in check 
an entire regiment at the Battle of Brandywine. At this 
battle General Washington tearfully said: "God bless 
you boys; I thought I should never see you again." Here 
may be mentioned Matthew Lyon, who was one of the 
real fathers of this Republic. He helped plant, not only 
in Connecticut and Vermont, where he first settled, but 
throughout the Nation, the undying principles of liberty 
on which the institutions of our country are founded. 

Probably one of the most daring feats of arms of 
the Revolution was the release by Sergt. William Jasper, 
of South Carolina, of 12 American prisoners held by 
the guard of the enemy. The circumstances surround- 

420 Washington Bicentennial 

ing this exploit were romantic in the extreme, and spoke 
warmly of the days of chivalry. Sergeant Jasper, 
being apprised of the capture of these soldiers by a 
Mrs. Jones, whose husband was among the captured and 
who was distracted over the incident, so appealed to 
the heart of this Irish lad, that he immediately took 
with him a private by the name of Newton and fol- 
lowed the enemy unarmed towards Savannah. When 
the enemy stopped at what is now known as Jasper 
Springs for water, they rested their firearms against the 
trees. By this time Jasper and Newton had seen them 
and hit in the brush. When some of them lay down 
for a rest, Jasper and Newton jumped from the brush, 
grabbed the guns, killed two with shot, and clubbed 
two to death with their guns. The others surrendered. 
He escorted them to the American Army at Purysburg 
and safely returned Jones to his wife and child. This, 
with another incident at the Battle of Fort Moultrie, 
brought Jasper's daring to the attention of the officers. 
He planted anew the Stars and Stripes after it had 
been shot from the fort, walking through a veritable 
hell of fire. This won for him the admiration of officers 
and his comrades, and inspired the brave defenders with 
more courage and loftier heroism. He was offered a 
commission by Governor Rutledge, but Jasper, being 
a poor scholar and of humble birth, replied: "Nay sir, 
I am not worthy of the trust, adversity has been my 
school-master and liberty my only school-mistress; I 
cannot mingle with those who are superior to my edu- 
cation and manners without exposing myself to de- 
served contempt. Let me alone; let me serve my coun- 
try in the way that suits me best, as an humble and 

News Releases 421 

devoted laborer in the cause of liberty and freedom." 
Governor Rutledge, very much moved, yielded to this 
refusal, but presented him with the sword which he 
wore on his own person. 

During the latter days of the Revolution, the people 
of Vermont were deeply agitated by the progress of the 
enemy. Their Committee of Safety had already sent 
a most pressing demand on New Hampshire for assist- 
ance, and most heartily did that State, so largely settled 
by Irish, respond. The legislature, which had ad- 
journed, quickly assembled and took decisive steps for 
the defense of the country. Gloomy prospects pre- 
vailed, as there was no money in the treasury to raise 
or support troops and the enemy not many miles away. 
The forts were even dismantled. John Langdon met 
the situation when the legislature quickly convened. 
Arising from his seat, and speaking in a loud voice, he 
said: "I have three thousand dollars in hard money. I 
will pledge my plate for three thousand more. I have 
seventy hogsheads of Tobago rum. I will have the rum 
sold for what amount it will bring. These are at the 
service of the State. If we succeed in defending our 
firesides and our homes, I may be remunerated. If not, 
the property will be of no value to me. Our old friend, 
Stark, who so nobly maintained the honor of the State 
at Bunker Hill, may be safely entrusted with the con- 
duct of the enterprise, and we will check the progress 
of Burgoyne." 

These stirring words were received with acclaim and 
put new life into the members of the assembly. Gen. 
John Stark accepted the command of the forces and 
went in search of the enemy, meeting them close by. 

422 Washington Bicentennial 

He said to his men: "Now, my men, there are the red 
coats! Before night they must be ours or Molly Stark 
will be a widow." The conflict was a hot one, Stark 
inspiring his men with his bravery led them to victory. 

Glowing through all the pages of American history in 
the early days of the Revolution are significant incidents 
of wonderful loyalty and devotion to the cause of Amer- 
ica. Rev. Dr. Hugh Knox, an Irishman who emigrated 
to America in 1751, after a few years went to the Island 
of Nevis, in the West Indies, on a pastoral duty. There 
he met young Alexander Hamilton. He became inter- 
ested in the boy, who at that time was almost penniless, 
due to his father's failure in business. Mr. Knox took 
him under his charge and personally taught him, and 
sent him to the schools in New Jersey and New York 
for further training and education. Hamilton speedily 
made his mark. Reverend Knox, taking further inter- 
est, interceded in having him made an aide-de-camp to 
General Washington. 

When Franklin gave up hope of the passage of the 
Stamp Act in 1784, an Irishman by the name of 
Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Con- 
gress from its inception to its close, cheered Franklin 
on and invigorated him with new life. Franklin wrote 
Thompson on one occasion saying: "The Sun of Liberty 
is set, and Americans must now light the lamps of In- 
dustry and Economy." Thompson replied: "Be assured, 
we shall light torches of another kind." 

At the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 
Lieutenant Wilson, one of the seven sons of Robert 
Wilson in the American Army, received the surrendered 
flags. He was a nephew of Captain Gregg, the famous 

News Releases 423 

Irishman, well known in the history of the Mohawk 
Valley. The surrender at Yorktown brought out 
vividly the achievements of a fighting race of people, 
the Irish. Their activities are vivid with deeds of 
courage, valor, loyalty, and sacrifice. Soon after the 
close of the war the Irish began to merge with others, 
who, in common, had ideas of building up a vast nation 
and immediately began contributing to the common 
stock of our citizenship. 

The late President Roosevelt so well said: "The 
immigrants, from Ireland and those alone, boldly pushed 
through the settled districts and planted themselves as 
the advance guard of the conquering civilization on 
the border of the Indian-haunted wilderness. The Irish 
people here proved themselves a masterful race of rugged 
character — a race the qualities of whose womanhood 
have become proverbial, while its men have the ele- 
mental, the indispensable virtues of working hard in 
times of peace and fighting hard in time of war." 

Jewish Colonial Patriots 

Upholding the hands of General Washington through 
the darkest and most discouraging years of the Revolu- 
tionary War as soldiers, financiers, and diplomats, the 
Jews in the American Colonies did their full share 
toward winning the independence of the United States. 

From the very beginning of the protests against the 
British Parliament's methods of dealing with the Col- 
onies, the American Jews were found in great majority 
on the side of the Colonials. When the contest became 
keen, and actual war broke out with the mother coun- 

424 Washington Bicentennial 

try, the Jews on this side of the Atlantic were over- 
whelmingly on the side of the Revolution. 

As far back as 1765 on the Non- Importation Reso- 
lutions appear the following names of leading Jewish 
merchants: Benjamin Levy, Sampson Levy, Joseph 
Jacobs, Hayman Levy, Jr., David Franks, Matthias 
Bush, Michael Gratz, Bernard Gratz, and Moses 
Mordecai. The Jewish communities in America had 
been the dependent children of English Jewry, but when 
the break came their patriotism overcame their natural 
feelings toward their mother community on the other 
side of the Atlantic. 

During the Revolutionary War the service of the 
Jews covered many fields. There were many Jewish 
soldiers and officers in the Continental Army. They 
helped to finance the Continental Congress and the 
great political leaders of those days, often without 
thought of gain. They joined in the boycott of Eng- 
lish goods before the war began. Most of the American 
Jews came from the more educated and wealthier classes, 
and they furnished a number of efficient officers for 
Washington's Army. Among these Jewish Continental 
officers were four lieutenant colonels, three majors, and 
at least six captains. A few of these Jewish officers 
were outstanding figures, and received recognition for 
their services in a more public manner than often falls 
to the lot of patriots. 

Maj. Benjamin Nones has been called "the Jewish 
Lafayette." In 1777 he left France and came to Phila- 
delphia, enlisting at once in the Revolutionary cause 
as a volunteer private. He rapidly rose to the rank of 
an officer and eventually became a major. Major Nones 

News Releases 425 

served on the staffs both of General Lafayette and of 
General Washington, Commander in Chief of the Con- 
tinental Army. At a later period in the war, at the 
head of 400 men, he was attached to the command of 
Baron de Kalb, in which there were a number of Jews. 
Three Jews carried de Kalb from the field when he fell. 
They were Major Nones, Capt. Jacob de la Motta, and 
Capt. Jacob de Leon. 

There was a Jewish family named Pinto in Connecti- 
cut, which had three, and probably four, brothers who 
took active parts in the Revolution. Abraham Pinto 
joined as a private Company Y of the Seventh Con- 
necticut Regiment. Solomon Pinto was a Revolutionary 
officer, and in the British attack on New Haven he was 
wounded. In the Revolutionary records William Pinto 
appears as a volunteer both in 1779 and in 1781. It has 
not been determined whether these were two different 

There was then a larger proportion of Jews in the 
South then there is today. The Jews of that section 
furnished their share of active Jewish soldiers against 
King George III. A corps of volunteer infantry, com- 
posed largely of Jews, took the field in Charleston, S. C. 
The officer in command of these soldiers was Captain 
Lushington. They saw service later at Beaufort under 
General Moultrie. 

One of the outstanding Jewish heroes of the Revolu- 
tion was Mordecai Sheftal, who was one of the first 
white children born in the Colony of Georgia. When 
hostilities began, he organized what was called the 
Parochial Committee, and as chairman of that body he 
regulated the internal affairs of Savannah. In July, 

426 Washington Bicentennial 

1777, Sheftal was appointed commissary general to the 
colonial troops of Georgia. 

The British captured Savannah and Sheftal was taken 
prisoner. He was placed on board one of the terrible 
prison ships of that period, where more than one patriot 
met his death. Sheftal was regarded as one of the most 
"dangerous" rebels by the British authorities. His name 
in 1780 was placed close to the top of the list of those 
who were anathematized by the British Government in 
the Disqualifying Act. Two years later Sheftal was in 
Philadelphia and the next year he received a grant of 
land in recognition of his services to the Colonies in the 
Revolution. Sheftal was active in several fields after 
the close of the war. He figured prominently in the 
early history of Freemasonry in the United States. He 
was one of the founders of the Union Society of Savan- 
nah, organized in 1786, which was one of Savannah's 
most representative organizations. 

Another American Jew who attained considerable 
rank in the Revolutionary Army was Isaac Franks. He 
enlisted at the age of 17. He was captured, and after 
three months made a daring escape. After he had been 
in the army two years he was made a f oragemaster, and 
three years after that he was appointed ensign in the 
Seventh Massachusetts Infantry. Isaac Franks was a 
friend of General Washington. The General stayed at 
his house in Germantown when yellow fever broke out 
in that vicinity in 1793. His portrait was painted by 
his friend, Gilbert Stuart, and was placed in the Gibson 
collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 
in Philadelphia. 

Another member of the same family who rose to 

News Releases 427 

considerable prominence in the Revolution was Maj. 
David Franks, whose residence was in Montreal. In 
1775 he was arrested for "speaking disrespectfully" of 
King George III. His was one of the names on a list 
of 29 prisoners, which was sent to the British ministry, 
"being the principal persons settled in the province 
who very zealously served the rebels in the winter of 
1775-1776 and fled upon their leaving it." 

Because Maj. David Franks was an aide-de-camp to 
Benedict Arnold some persons sought to implicate him 
in Arnold's treachery to the revolutionary cause. He 
was not only completely exonerated, but was promoted 
in the public service. Robert Morris sent him in 1781 
with dispatches to Jay at Madrid and to Franklin at 
Paris. Besides taking dispatches to these two famous 
diplomatic representatives of the colonies in Europe, 
David Franks on other occasions served the United 
States as a diplomatic agent in a confidential capacity. 

The records of the Jewish officers and men on the bat- 
tlefields of the Revolutionary War show the same 
energy, bravery, and enthusiasm for the new Nation as 
that displayed by any other racial group in the colonies. 

In supplying the sinews of war the aid of the Ameri- 
can Jews was of enormous value. Many American Jews 
gave freely to their country in the form of loans and 
voluntary contributions. One of these was Haym Salo- 
mon, a Polish immigrant Jew, who never received one 
penny in compensation for the fortune he generously 
placed at the disposal of the infant Republic. 

Haym Salomon was born in 1740 in Lissa, Poland. 
He had come to the American colonies four years be- 
fore the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. He was 

428 Washington Bicentennial 

a man of considerable education, speaking a number of 
languages, including German, French, Italian and Rus- 
sian, besides his native Polish. In 1776 he was arrested 
by the British on a charge of espionage, but he managed 
to escape punishment, and on account of his linguistic 
accomplishments he was placed in the British Commis- 
sariat. This position he used to bring about the escape 
of a number of Americans who had been captured by 
the British Army. He himself escaped later and went 
to Philadelphia, where he became associated with Robert 
Morris, superintendent of finance for the colonies. Ac- 
cording to the documents afterward submitted to Con- 
gress he advanced to the Government $658,007.13, 
which was considered an enormous sum of money for 
that period, especially when commerce and business was 
largely prostrated. 

Salomon did not confine his financial aid to the Gov- 
ernment as such, but he financed some of the men who 
played leading parts in the formation of the new Nation. 
Jefferson, Madison, Lee, Steuben, Monroe, Mercer and 
others were released by Salomon from the worries of 
procuring a livelihood at the very time when their serv- 
ices were most needed by the public. Writing in 1783, 
Robert Morris declared that many of the Revolutionary 
leaders would have gone to jail for debt if they had not 
received financial assistance from private sources. 

Madison, in a letter written to the Virginia authori- 
ties, said: "I have for some time been a pensioner in the 
favor of Haym Salomon, a Jew Broker." Again Madi- 
son wrote: "The kindness of our little friend in Front 
Street (Haym Salomon) ... is a fund that will pre- 
serve me from extramities, but I never resort to it with- 

News Releases 429 

out great mortification, as he obstinately rejects all re- 

Haym Salomon had a way of giving his help "with 
equal generosity and delicacy," as one of the men of 
the time express it. It was the expressed opinion of 
Henry Wheaton that James Wilson, another of the dele- 
gates to the Continental Congress, and other men in- 
strumental in founding the Republic, would have been 
forced to retire from public service entirely, if they had 
not been helped in this gracious manner by Salomon. 

But it was not only Salomon's purse that was avail- 
able to aid the Republic at this critical time. He placed 
at the disposal of his adopted country all his financial 
acumen. It was largely due to his ability that the nego- 
tiations were successfully completed with France and 
Holland for war subsidies. The French Government 
showed the confidence it placed in him by making him 
treasurer of the French Army which came to the 
colonies to aid General Washington. He filled this po- 
sition without compensation. 

Salomon helped to win the secret support of King 
Charles III of Spain for the cause of the American 
colonies through Don Francisco Renton, secret Am- 
bassador of King Charles, whom he aided for several 
years. Salomon was the "financial link" between the 
United States and France. First he was broker to the 
French consul and afterward became fiscal agent to the 
French Minister to the United States, Chevalier de la 
Luzerne. He was also the principal depositor of the 
Bank of North America. 

Robert Morris kept a record of the financial trans- 
actions engaged in by Salomon that enabled the credit 

430 Washington Bicentennial 

of the new Government to be maintained. There were 
no less than 75 separate transactions in this record. 
Neither Salomon nor his heirs ever received one penny 
in compensation. 

Because of their education and knowledge of Euro- 
pean languages, as well as their financial relations 
abroad, many American Jews were able to render in- 
valuable aid to the struggling country and the records 
show that they did so with enthusiastic patriotism. The 
list of Jewish financial sacrifices for the freedom of the 
Republic would contain many other names besides that 
of Haym Salomon. For instance, Benjamin Levy and 
Benjamin Jacobs are signers of the bill of credit for the 
Continental Congress. Isaac Moses, of Philadelphia, out 
of his private pocket donated $15,000 toward the 
colonial treasury. Another contributor was Herman 
Levy, of Philadelphia. In addition to serving as an 
assistant to General Washington, Manuel Mordecai gave 
$100,000 to help put the new Nation on its feet, and 
permit it to hold up its head before the world without 

Von Steuben Revived Ragged Continentals 

One of the most remarkable achievements of the Rev- 
olutionary War was that of transforming a ragged, 
starving, and discouraged army into a well- drilled and 
effective fighting force. 

This feat was performed by Baron Frederick William 
von Steuben, who arrived in America to join the strug- 
gling colonists at a time when the outlook was indeed 
gloomy, according to the Division of Information and 

News Releases 431 

Publication of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission. 

On February 23, 1778, a day after General Washing- 
ton's birthday, he reported at Valley Forge. It required 
but a few days for Von Steuben to demonstrate his abil- 
ity as a soldier and drillmaster, and he so impressed 
Washington that, on March 28, he was made Inspector 
General of the Continental Army. 

The Prussian nobleman was a soldier by birth. For 
many generations his fathers before him had been mili- 
tary men. Before coming to America, von Steuben, 
trained in the rigorous school of Frederick the Great, 
won military distinction on the Continent during the 
Seven Years War. 

When he reported for duty at Valley Forge he found 
conditions deplorable and the morale of the Army at its 
lowest possible ebb. These conditions are best described 
in a letter which von Steuben wrote from the camp: 

"The arms at Valley Forge were in a horrible condi- 
tion, covered with rust, half of them without bayonets, 
many from which a single shot could not be fired. The 
pouches were quite as bad as the arms. A great many 
of the men had tin boxes instead of pouches, others had 
cowhorns and muskets; carbines, fowling-pieces, and 
rifles were to be seen in the same company. The de- 
scription of the dress is most easily given. The men 
were literally naked, some of them in the fullest extent 
of the word. The officers, who had coats, had them of 
every color and make. I saw officers, at a grand parade 
at Valley Forge, mounting guard in a sort of dressing- 
gown, made of an old blanket or woolen bed cover. 

432 Washington Bicentennial 

With regard to their military discipline, I may safely 
say no such thing existed." 

Honoring Von Steuben's Memory 

Wherever patriotic citizens will gather on November 
15 of this year their thoughts should turn to Baron 
Frederick William Von Steuben. For that date marks 
the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the fa- 
mous drillmaster of the American Army during the 
Revolutionary War. 

In 1777, Baron Von Steuben came to our shores to 
throw in his lot with a struggling army and a struggling 
Nation. What he accomplished in that momentous con- 
test is well known to everyone who is at all acquainted 
with our history. It is only proper and fitting for Amer- 
icans of today to honor him who did so much for Amer- 
ica 150 years ago. 

Many local Steuben societies are planning celebrations 
for November 15. The United States Government has 
signified its intention to cooperate. The Postmaster 
General has issued a commemorative stamp for the oc- 
casion. Representative Sol Bloom, associate director of 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, today issued this statement: 

"We of the United States George Washington Bi- 
centennial Commission will do everything we possibly 
can to aid in the celebration of the two hundredth anni- 
versary of the birth of Baron Von Steuben. He was one 
of the great leaders of the Revolutionary War and one of 
the men who helped establish American independence. 
It was men like Von Steuben, Lafayette, Kosciusko, Pu- 
laski, Rochambeau, De Kalb, Fersen and other gallant 

News Releases 433 

soldiers from across the seas who won for the American 
cause that international sympathy and assistance which 
did so much to hasten victory. These heroes were ready 
to die for the American ideal, and we of today have not 

Baron Von Steuben was born in Magdeburg, Prus- 
sia, on November 15, 1730. He was a soldier by birth; 
his fathers, for generations before him, were all military 
men. Trained in the rigorous school of Frederick the 
Great, he won distinction on the Continent during the 
Seven Years' War. When Baron Von Steuben arrived 
in Portsmouth, N. H., on December 1, 1777, to join his 
fortunes with those of the fighting Colonists, he was one 
of the best trained tacticians in the world. 

On February 23, 1778, Von Steuben arrived at Val- 
ley Forge, where the American Army was encamped. 
His coming brought forth from Washington, in a letter 
to the president of the Congress, these observations: 
"Baron Steuben has arrived at camp. He appears to be 
much of a gentleman, and, as far as I have had an op- 
portunity of judging, a man of military knowledge, and 
acquainted with the world." 

Von Steuben apparently more than lived up to this 
impression, for on March 28 he was made inspector gen- 
eral or drillmaster of the American Army. Steuben's 
task, to make disciplined soldiers of these raw Ameri- 
can troops, was stupendous. The obstacles in his path 
were innumerable. But let Steuben tell the story him- 
self. In a letter written by him shortly after assum- 
ing control, he has the following to say: 

"The arms at Valley Forge were in a horrible condi- 
tion, covered with rust, half of them without bayonets, 

434 Washington Bicentennial 

many from which a single shot could not be fired. The 
pouches were quite as bad as the arms. A great many 
of the men had tin boxes instead of pouches, others had 
cow-horns and muskets; carbines, fowling-pieces, and 
rifles were to be seen in the same company. The de- 
scription of the dress is most easily given. The men were 
literally naked, some of them in the fullest extent of 
the word. The officers, who had coats, had them of every 
color and make. I saw officers, at a grand parade at 
Valley Forge, mounting guard in a sort of dressing- 
gown, made of an old blanket or woolen bed- cover. 
With regard to their military discipline, I may safely say 
no such thing existed." 

How far Steuben succeeded in his new position is 
attested by the results of the fighting after that disas- 
trous winter at Valley Forge. Besides drilling the men, 
Von Steuben played an active role in some of the major 
events of the war. He participated in the Battle of 
Monmouth; he was a member of the court martial which 
tried and convicted Major Andre as a spy; he com- 
manded in Virginia, later giving way to Lafayette; and, 
finally, he was one of the leaders in the siege of York- 
town, that great victory which, to all intents and pur- 
poses, ended the war. 

After the war, Major General Von Steuben retired to 
a tract of land now known as Steubenville, N. Y., which 
was presented to him as a gift, in recognition of the ap- 
preciation for his services, by the State of New York. 
In 1784, Congress gave him a vote of thanks and a pres- 
ent of a gold hilt sword. For the rest of his life, Von 
Steuben kept up a friendly relationship with George 
Washington. From Washington's diary we learn that 

News Releases 43 5 

on November 30, 1789, the President sent Von Steuben 
a theater ticket; on December 3, December 31, 1789, 
and on April 1, 1790, Von Steuben dined at the home 
of George Washington, in New York City. In 1790, 
Congress authorized an annual pension of $2,500 a year 
to be paid to Steuben. His superior officer, George 
Washington, as President of the United States, signed 
that bill on June 4, 1790. 

Major General Von Steuben died on November 28, 
1794, at his home in Steubenville, and another Revo- 
lutionary War hero passed from the scene. As the years 
go by, Von Steuben is constantly growing in the es- 
teem of the American people; and, now, at the two hun 
dredth anniversary of his birth, the whole Nation might 
very well honor his memory. 

American Patriotism Amazed Rochambeau 

In his memoirs of his sojourn in America during the 
last year of the Revolution, Rochambeau relates an in- 
teresting incident of a patriotic American wheelwright 
who got out of a sick-bed to repair Rochambeau's car- 
riage when informed that the Count had an engagement 
with General Washington. 

After Rochambeau had landed at Newport, R. I., in 
July, 1781, he made an engagement to confer with Gen- 
eral Washington. Both commanders were anxious to 
perfect plans for a concerted movement against the 
British, which, it was hoped, would result in a decisive 
triumph for the allies, but the military situation was 
such that neither could leave his army for the length 
of time required to effect the meeting. However, as 
the need for such a conference became imperative, a 

436 Washington Bicentennial 

meeting was arranged to be held at Hartford, Conn., 
on September 20. 

The Count left Newport in a carriage which broke 
down when he was within a short distance of his desti- 
nation. An aide was dispatched to bring a wheelwright 
who lived about a mile from where the accident oc- 
curred. The man was found sick with the ague, and 
he informed the officer that he would not work that 
night for his hat full of guineas. Upon hearing this, 
Rochambeau asked to be taken to the man's shop. Upon 
arriving there he told the wheelwright that unless the 
carriage was repaired, it would be impossible for him 
to keep his appointment the following day with Gen- 
eral Washington. This argument proved effective, for 
the mechanic replied, "You are no liars, at any rate, for 
I read in the Connecticut papers that Washington was 
to be there to confer with you. As it is for the public 
service, I will take care that your carriage shall be ready 
for you at 6 o'clock in the morning." 

The wheelwright kept his word, and the party pro- 
ceeded to the conference with General Washington. 
After the meeting with General Washington, Rocham- 
beau started on his return to Newport. As he neared 
the locality of his previous mishap, another wheel on 
the carriage gave way. It seemed that the patriotism 
of the wheelwright whose name is unknown, was to be 
tried to the limit, for he was called upon to work in the 
night. The unsung hero was equal to the occasion, how- 
ever, and the Count able to resume his journey at an 
early hour the next morning. 

"I do not mean to compare all Americans with this 
good man," concludes Rochambeau, "but almost all the 

News Releases 437 

inland cultivators and all the land owners of Connecti- 
cut are animated with that patriotic spirit which many 
other people would do well to imitate." 

Polish Hero's Birthday Recalls War Exploits 

One of the most picturesque and spectacular figures 
of the Revolutionary War was the Polish hero, Thad- 
deus Kosciuszko, who served in the American Army 
under Gen. George Washington. The one hundred and 
eighty-fifth anniversary of the birth of Kosciuszko will 
occur on February 12. 

When the Revolution began there were a number of 
foreign officers who wished to enlist in the American 
Army, if they could secure the rank to which they felt 
themselves entitled. A number of these men were ac- 
cepted on their merits and upon recommendations of 
Benjamin Franklin and other prominent Americans 
abroad. In 1776 many applied, but they could not 
all be accepted, because Washington did not want to 
officer his army with too many foreigners and because, 
in some cases, they were unable to speak English. 

At this juncture Kosciuszko appeared on the scene 
with a letter of recommendation from Franklin. When 
he presented this to Washington, the general asked him 
what he wanted. Kosciuszko replied that he had come 
to fight as a volunteer for American independence. 
"What can you do?" asked Washington. "Try me and 
see," replied the youthful Pole. 

Commissioned a colonel of engineers on October 18, 
1776, Kosciuszko was assigned to the army under com- 
mand of General Gates. Here his remarkable ability 
as an engineer was soon in evidence, and he was charged 

438 Washington Bicentennial 

with the responsibility of fortifying Bemis Heights near 
Saratoga. So well was this work done that General 
Burgoyne was unable to dislodge the Americans from 
this place after two well-fought actions. Subsequently, 
Kosciuszko was the principal engineer in executing the 
works at West Point. Later in the war, he became one 
of Washington's adjutants and was with Gen. Nathanael 
Greene during many of his southern operations. 

In October, 1783, Congress rewarded Kosciuszko with 
the brevet of brigadier general, and he was voted the 
thanks of that body. This action was taken upon the 
suggestion of Washington, whose intercession with Con- 
gress in the matter was one of his last official acts as 
Commander in Chief. The gallant Pole was also made 
a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. 

After the Revolution, Kosciuszko returned to his 
native country, where he lived in retirement for a few 
years before being appointed major general in the Polish 
Army which moved against the Russians. He was en- 
listed in a forlorn hope, however, and after gallant re- 
sistance for a few years he was defeated and imprisoned 
by the Russian Empress. Later he was released, and 
in 1797 returned to the United States for a short visit. 
While in this country he was received with every mark 
of esteem and was given a grant of land by Congress. 
However, he soon returned to France, where he lived 
until he moved to Switzerland in 1816. A year later 
he was killed in a fall from his horse. 

A gallant soldier of marked ability, Kosciuszko was 
one of the outstanding foreign officers to serve in the 
American Army during the Revolution. Admired and 
esteemed by Washington, he enjoyed the friendship of 

News Releases 439 

the great general until the latter's death. His services 
in the war were such that America is still indebted to 
him, and his name is remembered with honor and 

First Flag Was Not "Stars and Stripes" 

The first flag of this country was not the stars and 

General Washington felt keenly the lack of national 
colors on land and sea when he took command of the 
national forces. He had urged the adoption of a stand- 
ard flag, and as events swept on toward complete sever- 
ance from Great Britain, the need became more acute. 

Every military instinct told the Commander in Chief 
the need of a standard emblem for the new nation that 
was about to come into being. From the beginning of 
history, he knew that in all their struggles for dominion 
or against tyranny men had followed the flag. 

Facing his own tremendous problems, Washington 
was well aware of the influence of a flag on the mind 
of every soldier — its stimulus toward patriotism and loy- 
alty, its inspiration in the face of danger, privation, and 
discouragement . 

Many* Striking Designs 

At the start of the Revolution, different Colonies or 
sections had their own colors — and some of these dis- 
played such striking designs and mottoes that they con- 
tinued in service with modifications through a great part 
of the war. One was the "Pine Tree Flag" of New Eng- 
land, with the red cross of St. George and a green pine 
tree in the upper corner. Another was the "Rattlesnake 

440 Washington Bicentennial 

Flag," which appeared in several designs — the most com- 
mon being a rattlesnake in the center, coiled and ready 
to strike, and under it the words, "Don't Tread on Me." 

A third was the flag designed by Col. William Moul- 
trie, of South Carolina — a large blue banner with a 
silver crescent in one corner. New York had a flag 
showing a black beaver on a white field. Rhode Island's 
design was a white field with a blue anchor, over which 
was the word "Hope," and occasionally a cluster of 
stars in the corner. 

On January 2, 1776, the "Grand Union" or "Cam- 
bridge" flag was hoisted over the camp before Boston. 
It consisted of 13 stripes with the British Union Jack 
in the corner. For 150 years the Colonies had been faith- 
ful to the mother country. The retention of the King's 
colors or Union Jack with its blended crosses of St. 
George and St. Andrew, represented the theory that 
the sovereign of England was not responsible for the 
acts of "wicked ministers." The alternate red and white 
stripes symbolized the union of the thirteen Colonies 
against the tyranny and oppression reflected by the 
action of Parliament. 

When Washington left New York and hurried to 
Philadelphia in response to the request of Congress, 
the flag problem was still on his mind. The Grand 
Union flag was not working out satisfactorily. Evi- 
dently the thoughts of the Colonies were concentrating 
too strongly on separation from England to permit the 
retention of the King's colors. Ship captains, in par- 
ticular, disliked them. 

Washington also was not satisfied with the Grand 
Union flag, and when he arrived in Philadelphia in 1776, 

News Releases 441 

in response to the request of Congress, he sought oppor- 
tunity to discuss the question of a flag with individual 
delegates outside. 

Call on Betsy Ross 

Legend has it that to Robert Morris, the financier, and 
George Ross, a native of New Castle, Del., and a mem- 
ber of the Continental Congress, the Commander in 
Chief is believed to have confided his anxiety about a 
fitting national emblem to be used by the Army and 
Navy — and enlisted their aid. As a result this trio one 
day walked to the shop of Betsy Ross, the upholsterer, 
at Fourth and Arch Streets, only a square away. They 
were in quest of assistance which, they felt sure, she 
could render. George Ross had told his associates that 
if there was one woman in the city qualified more than 
another to help them in this emergency, it was his capa- 
ble niece. 

Washington showed Mrs. Ross a rough design of a 
flag with 13 stripes and 13 stars, asking her if she 
thought she could reproduce the same in bunting and 
secure an effective arrangement of the red, the white, 
and the blue. She inspected it for an instant and replied 
that she did not know, but would gladly try. 

On the following day she had finished the first sample 
of Old Glory, which was officially declared the national 
emblem by Congress, June 14, 1777. 

Our Flag Is 154 Years Old! 

June 14, Flag Day, will this year direct the thoughts 
of every good American to the future as well as to the 

442 Washington Bicentennial 

past. The patriotic citizen will be reminded that June 
14, 1931, marks the 154th anniversary of the day when 
the Continental Congress passed the resolution officially 
establishing, as the emblem of the United States, a flag 
"of thirteen stripes alternate red and white," and "that 
the union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing 
a new constellation." 

But every patriot will also look forward to next year, 
when Flag Day will take on a still deeper meaning as 
one of the key days in the 1 months' nation-wide cele- 
bration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth 
of George Washington. According to the plans of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Commis- 
sion, every American, in every State and city of the 
country, will then be encouraged to honor the flag with 
appropriate ceremonies and with a new devotion, linked 
as it is with the life and labors of George Washington. 

Historians may regard as unsupported by fact the 
story of Betsy Ross' stitching the first American flag, 
but no one disputes the fact that the legend has become 
part and parcel of American folklore. In any case it 
is known that Washington had an intense personal in- 
terest in the creation of a national flag, and may have 
had a part in its design. And no one disputes the fact 
that he accomplished more than any other American 
in giving that flag a meaning and in unfurling it over 
a strong and united nation. In 1932 it will be the coun- 
try's privilege to render new honors to George Wash- 
ington's memory, and new loyalty to this immortal sym- 
bol of his greatness. 

Meanwhile, this year, it is well to recall some of the 
great dates in the flag's history. Its first display by the 

News Releases 443 

Continental Army was on August 3, 1777, at Fort Stan- 
wix, the present city of Rome, N. Y., during an at- 
tack by the British. It was first carried into battle by 
George Washington's troops at Brandywine on Septem- 
ber 11, 1777. It was first saluted by the British at the 
surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga on October 17, 1777. 

For the navy, John Paul Jones took the first salute 
to the Stars and Stripes on February 14, 1778, when 
he sailed his ship Ranger into the harbor of Quiberon, 
France. In the same ship he forced the first striking 
of colors to our flag by the British ship Drake on April 
24, 1778. The ship Bedford, of Massachusetts, carried 
the first American flag into a British port on February 
3, 1783. It was first carried round the world by the 
ship Columbia, sailing from Boston in September, 1787. 
Captain John Greene, in the Empress of China, had 
previously taken it to China in 1784. 

It was first flown in battle in the Pacific by the U. S. 
Frigate Essex, in 1813. The next year Francis Scott 
Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner." In 1818 Con- 
gress decreed that henceforth a new star should be added 
on the admission of each new State to the Union; but, 
before that, on January 13, 1794, after Vermont and 
Kentucky had been admitted to the Union, the stars 
and stripes were increased to 15. The 1818 Act re- 
duced the stripes to 13 and decreed a new star for each 
new State, which made a jump at once to 20 stars. 

On April 6, 1909, Admiral Peary planted the first 
American flag at the North Pole. Within the last dec- 
ade, Admiral Byrd has carried it to both the Poles. 

Wherever it has gone it has meant achievement and 
new honors to our Nation. But next year Old Glory 

444 Washington Bicentennial 

will float over the achievements of the greatest Ameri- 
can of all, the man who made both the flag and the Na- 
tion that flies it — George Washington. 

London Excited by First View of Ship Flying 
"Old Glory" 

In February, 1783, the inhabitants of London were 
greeted by a strange sight. There on the historic Thames 
River, docked at the London custom house, was a ship 
flying a flag which most people had never seen before 
but which was easily recognizable. It was "Old Glory," 
with its "thirteen rebellious stripes." The ship's cargo 
was whale oil and its captain was requesting the right of 
entry, to dispose of his merchandise and to load his ship 
with English goods for the folks back home. 

Ordinarily a strange ship on the Thames would not 
be a startling sight. Ships kept bobbing up there from 
all corners of the world. But when we consider that 
a definitive peace had not yet been signed, that the coun- 
tries were technically at war with each other, that feel- 
ing between the Americans and Englishmen was still 
strong and tense, then the appearance of the "rebel flag" 
in London was indeed a startling sight. 

King George III had recognized the independence of 
America in December of 1782. Upon hearing the news, 
American merchants and traders began fitting out their 
ships again. For eight long years the traders of the 
northern Colonies had been prevented from sending out 
their vessels. Now, not being versed in the technique 
of treaty making, and knowing only that King George 
had recognized and acknowledged the Independence of 

News Releases 445 

America, they sent their ships out to all ports of the 

To set out for friendly though distant ports in France, 
Spain or Holland was natural enough; but to make a 
trip to the heart of the enemy's land was, to say the least, 
daring and surprising. Yet that is exactly what hap- 
pened in the case of one Yankee ship. The Bedford, 
fitted out in Massachusetts and commanded by Captain 
Moores, flying the stars and stripes, started straight 
across the Atlantic, headed for England. 

On February 4, 1783, the Bedford was sighted off the 
coast of Gravesend and two days later, on February 6, 
she reported with her heavy cargo of whale oil to the 
London custom house. To add to the incongruity of 
the situation, the Bedford was within view of the fa- 
mous Tower of London, where Henry Laurens and other 
Americans had languished as prisoners during the war. 

To say that the Londoners were surprised and could 
hardly believe their eyes would be putting it mildly. 
Here was a rebel ship, proudly flying the rebel flag, in 
their own port, while the British and American envoys 
were still wrangling in Paris over the terms of the peace 
treaty. For days the Bedford was the talk of the town. 

One magazine described the ship in this fashion: 

"She is American-built, manned wholly by American 
seamen, wears the rebel colors and belongs to Massachu- 
setts. This is the first vessel which has displayed the 
thirteen stripes of America in any British port." 

The number 1 3 in connection with American events 
was material for much English humor, 13 Colonies, 13 
stripes, 1 3 this and that. The London Chronicle of Feb- 

446 Washington Bicentennial 

ruary 7, 1783, surpassed itself with its humorous de- 
scription of the rebel ship. 

"There is a vessel in the harbor with a very strange 
flag. Thirteen is a number peculiar to rebels. A party 
of prisoners, lately returned from Jersey, say that rations 
among the rebels are thirteen dried clams a day. Sachem 
Schuyler has a topknot of thirteen stiff hairs which erect 
themselves on the crown of his head when he gets mad. 
It takes thirteen Congress paper dollars to equal one 
shilling sterling * * * 

"Every well-organized rebel household has thirteen 
children, all of whom expect to be major generals or 
members of the high and mighty Congress of the thir- 
teen United States when they attain the age of thirteen 
years * * * and Mrs. Washington has a tomcat with 
thirteen yellow rings around its tail. His flaunting it 
suggested to Congress the same number of stripes for 
the rebel flag." 

Robert Morris Helped War of 76 With Own Money 

Robert Morris, financier of the American Revolution 
and intimate friend of George Washington, Alexander 
Hamilton, John Hancock and other leaders in early 
American history, was one of the most brilliant and 
romantic figures in the War of Independence. 

This patriot, a signer of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, helped to keep the Continental Army in the field 
out of his own purse and by pledging his private credit. 
It was through requisitions on the States, loans from 
France, and in a large measure through his own money 
advanced for the purpose, that the means was furnished 

News Releases 447 

to transfer Washington's army from Dobb's Ferry, New 
York, to Yorktown, Va., in 1781. 

Robert Morris was the only man in the history of 
the Revolution who bore the title of "Superintendent 
of Finance." Born in Liverpool, England, January 31, 
1734, he emigrated to America at the age of 14 to join 
his father at Oxford, Md. The elder Morris was the 
agent of a large firm of tobacco merchants, Foster Cun- 
liffe and Sons, of Liverpool. He was accidentally killed 
three years later, leaving Robert an orphan at the age 
of 17. Before his father's death, young Morris went to 
work in the mercantile house which two Englishmen, 
Charles and Thomas Willing, had established in Phila- 
delphia in 1726. He was put to work in the counting 
room and soon exhibited an adaptability for business 
which won the favorable attention of his employers, and 
resulted in his becoming a member of the firm in 1754. 

Morris first appeared active in public affairs in 
connection with the resistance to the Stamp Act. He 
signed the nonimportation agreement in 1765, and was 
on a committee of citizens to force John Hughes, col- 
lector of the stamp tax, to desist from the administra- 
tion of his office in October of that year. A year later, 
in 1766, Morris was made warden of the Port of 

When the Revolution began, he was 41 years old. He 
took part in all of the great enterprises of the United 
States which were not military, and even in those his 
opinion was considered with profound respect. 

He was vice president of the Pennsylvania Com- 
mittee of Safety during 1775 and 1776, and a member 
of the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1778. He 

448 Washington Bicentennial 

retired from Congress in 1778, but was at once sent 
to the State legislature, serving from 1778 to 1781. His 
greatest public service was the financing of the War of 
Independence. As chairman of various committees, he 
was in close touch with the financial operations of Con- 
gress, and in 1781 he was chosen by Congress to be 
superintendent of finance. With the able cooperation 
of his assistant, Gouverneur Morris (who was in no 
way related to him) , he filled this position with great 
efficiency during the trying years of 1781 to 1784. For 
the same period he was also agent of marine, and hence 
head of the infant Navy Department. 

There are times in the experience of every army when 
money is absolutely necessary to facilitate a military 
movement, and although General Washington relied 
upon the enthusiasm and patriotic ardor of his troops 
to a larger extent than any other great commander the 
world has ever seen, he found the military chest all 
but empty at Trenton in 1776. When a rider came in 
from the Commander in Chief's camp asking for a large 
sum of money which was required for immediate use, 
Morris was confronted with the task of his life. 

Washington had crossed the Delaware a second time 
with that unflinching courage that served him so well 
in the darkest hours. He prevailed upon the troops, 
who had not received any pay for some time, to remain 
six weeks longer on the promise of a bounty of $10 for 
each soldier. Washington wrote to Morris for the 
money to make this promise good, and the next day 
$50,000 was sent to the Commander in Chief. This 
money, it is said, Morris personally borrowed from 

News Releases 449 

wealthy Quakers of Philadelphia, many of whom were 
his most intimate friends. 

When the Federal Government was formed in 1789, 
Morris was offered the secretaryship of the Treasury, but 
this he declined and urged the appointment of Alex- 
ander Hamilton instead. As United States Senator, he 
supported the Federalist policies and gave Hamilton 
considerable assistance in carrying out his financial 

During this time he gradually disposed of his mer- 
cantile and banking interests and engaged extensively 
in land speculation. At one time or another he owned, 
wholly or in part, nearly the entire western half of 
New York State, 2,000,000 acres in Georgia, and about 
1,000,000 acres in Pennsylvania, Virginia and South 

The slow development of this property, the failure 
of the London bank in which he had funds invested, 
and other unfortunate investments finally drove him 
into bankruptcy, and he was confined in a debtor's 
prison for more than three years. At that time the 
imprisonment of debtors was a common practice. 
When, in 1800, Congress passed an act by which, on 
the petition of his creditors, a man could be adjudicated 
a bankrupt and thereupon released from prison, Morris 
was released after much formality and delay. He 
gained his freedom on August 26, 1801, when proof 
was brought into court of unpaid debts amounting to 
about $3,000,000. He became a not very cheerful 
pensioner upon his family and his friends, a humiliated 
and broken man. 

He spent the summer of 1802 at Morrisania with 

450 Washington Bicentennial 

Gouverneur Morris, who was now a United States Sena- 
tor from New York. "He came to me, lean, low 
spirited, and as poor as a commission of bankruptcy can 
make a man whose effects will, it is said, not pay a 
shilling on the pound," Gouverneur wrote to a friend. 
"Indeed, the asisgnees will not take the trouble of look- 
ing after them. I sent him home fat, sleek, in good 
spirits and possessed of the means of living comfortably 
for the rest of his days." 

On May 7, 1806, not quite five years after his dis- 
charge from prison, Robert Morris died in Philadelphia, 
in a small house on Twelfth Street between Market and 
Chestnut Streets, where he had resided with his family. 
He was buried quietly in the family vault in Christ 
Church Yard. 

Alexander Hamilton's Achievements 

It is given to but few men to impress their 
individuality indelibly upon the history of a great 
nation, but Alexander Hamilton achieved even more 
than this. 

In calling attention to the one hundred and seventy- 
fourth anniversary of his birthday on January 11, 1931, 
the Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Commis- 
sion points out the extraordinary versatility of the man 
whom Chief Justice Marshall ranked next to George 
Washington in importance during those critical years 
of our history. 

The senseless sacrifice of this brilliant man, who was 
killed in a duel by Aaron Burr, caused an outburst of 

News Releases 451 

bitter and indignant grief among men of all parties 
throughout the Nation that has seldom been equaled in 
the history of the country. 

Alexander Hamilton was born, as a British subject, 
on the island of Nevis, in the West Indies, on January 
11,1757. At the age of 12, following his father's bank- 
ruptcy and his mother's death, he was thrown upon the 
care of maternal relatives at St. Croix, where he entered 
the counting house of Nicholas Cruger. In 1772 friends 
impressed by his astonishing poise and maturity of mind 
made it possible for him to go to New York to continue 
his education. Arriving there in the autumn of that 
year, he prepared for college at Elizabethtown, N. J., 
and in 1774 entered King's College, now Columbia Uni- 
versity, in New York City. His studies were inter- 
rupted by the Revolution. 

A visit to Boston seems to have thoroughly confirmed 
the conclusion to which reason had already led him, 
that he should cast his fortunes with the patriots rather 
than with the Tories. Into the cause he threw himself 
with ardor. Early in 1776 the New York Convention 
ordered a company of artillery to be raised. Hamilton 
applied for the command, and his examination quickly 
dispelled doubts of his fitness in those who suspected 
mere youthful presumption. 

The artillery company quickly showed the talent of 
its commander, who, by his proficiency and bravery 
in the campaign of 1776 around New York City, won 
the admiration of Generals Washington and Greene. 
Hamilton shared in the brilliant campaign of Trenton 
and Princeton and so distinguished himself as a dashing 
and gallant officer that, although he was barely 20 years 

452 Washington Bicentennial 

old, Washington appointed him his aide de camp with 
the rank of lieutenant colonel. 

Hamilton, despite his other remarkable qualities, was 
unusually ambitious for military glory — an ambition he 
never lost. As a member of Washington's staff, his 
duties were various and highly responsible, but he longed 
for the field and firing line with an independent com- 
mand. In February, 1781, he seized upon a slight 
reprimand administered by Washington as an excuse for 
abandoning his staff position and later secured a field 
command, through Washington, and won laurels at 
Yorktown, where he led his column in the final assault 
against the British works. 

Whether as a soldier, lawyer, or statesman he was a 
master in every field that he entered. Hamilton, beyond 
a doubt, had an inborn genius for finance, and was be- 
yond question a pioneer in what has since become the 
most important department of practical government. 

He founded the financial system of the United States 
and converted the barren clauses of the Constitution 
into a living organism. 

When he became Secretary of the Treasury, he found 
there was a great mass of work to be done in organizing 
the collecting and disbursing force throughout the 
country. Congress immediately submitted to him a 
number of queries and problems for solution, and there 
came forth from his pen a succession of papers that have 
left their strong imprint on the administrative organi- 
zation of the National Government. 

Among them were two reports on the public credit, 
upholding an ideal of national honor higher than the 
prevalent popular principles; a report on manufactures, 

News Releases 45 3 

advocating their encouragement; a report favoring the 
establishment of a national bank, the arguments being 
based on "implied powers" in the Constitution and on 
the applications that Congress can do anything that can 
be made, through the medium of money, to subserve 
the "general welfare" of the United States. Hamilton's 
doctrines, through judicial interpretations, have revo- 
lutionized the Constitution. The success of his financial 
measures was immediate and remarkable. 

Hamilton's plan to establish a national bank resem- 
bling in great measure the Bank of England aroused as 
great an interest in Congress as the proposal to assume 
the State debts had brought forth. The project was 
finally passed by both Houses in practically the form 
that Hamilton had suggested and came before President 
Washington for approval on February 14, 1.791. 

So heated had been the debates in the House on the 
constitutionality of a United States bank that the 
President felt doubts as to the power of Congress to 
incorporate such an institution. He called upon his four 
cabinet members for their opinions. Hamilton and 
Kn6x, Secretary of War, favored the bank; Jefferson 
and Randolph, Attorney General, opposed. Hamilton, 
Jefferson, and Randolph submitted written reports to 
the President. 

Those written by Jefferson and Hamilton remain to 
this day among the most important expositions of our 
constitutional law and practice. Hamilton's arguments 
convinced Washington of the constitutional propriety 
of the measure, which he approved on February 25, 

The subscription books were opened on July 4 follow- 

454 Washington Bicentennial 

ing, and within two hours the whole capital was sub- 
scribed for, and many persons who had hoped to buy 
stock found themselves left out. Never in the course 
of history has there been so immediate and permanent 
a financial foundation laid for any country's prosperity 
as that which was built by Hamilton, the men of the 
First Congress, and President Washington. 

Gen. Israel Putnam's Exploits 

Among the leaders of the American forces during the 
Revolutionary War, the name of Israel Putnam is promi- 
nent as one of the officers who served under Gen. 
George Washington. Coming into the Continental 
Army with years of military campaigning behind him, 
"Old Put," as Washington affectionately referred to 
him, brought into the service an invaluable fund of 
experience in warfare. He was 57 years old when Con- 
gress commissioned him major general, but his advanced 
age in no wise impaired his patriotism, which called him 
to the field of battle when his country's freedom was 
at stake. 

The two hundred and thirteenth anniversary of 
General Putnam's birth, on January 7, 1931, is a most 
appropriate occasion for the people of Connecticut to 
honor the name of this man who brought renown to his 
adopted State, for, although he was born in Salem, 
Mass., Putnam rather early in life moved to the Nutmeg 
State, where he made his home until his death. 

Putnam was born in 1718, the tenth in a family of 
1 1 children. His great-grandparents had come to Salem 
from England in 1634. This was the beginning of a 
large and prominent family from which came many 

News Releases 45 5 

influential men and women. When Israel was 20 years 
old he married Hannah Pope, and some time later, with 
his brother-in-law, bought 514 acres in what is now 
Windham County, Conn. By 1741 Putnam had pur- 
chased Pope's interest in the tract, so that he became 
the sole owner of Mortlake Manor, as it was called. 
This farm, which was then considered one of the finest 
in New England, became the township of Brooklyn. 

At the time Putnam came to this place the vicinity 
abounded in wolves, which considerably annoyed the 
people by their frequent raids on the farmyards. It 
appears that all of these animals had been killed except 
an old female that continued her depredations. One 
night she killed 60 or 70 of Putnam's sheep. This so 
aroused the ire of the farmer that he determined to 
hunt down and destroy the beast. The hunt ended, 
according to an oft-told story, when the wolf was cor- 
nered in a dark, narrow cave into which Putnam imme- 
diately plunged to shoot the killer at close range and 
drag her forth in triumph. 

When Connecticut was asked for a thousand men to 
protect the northern approaches against an expected 
French invasion from Canada, Putnam was one of those 
who enlisted. As a captain in the British Army, he 
served with distinction and was promoted to the rank 
of major. He was a member of the Rangers who so 
seriously embarrassed the enemy. Noted for his per- 
sonal bravery, Putnam figured in several courageous 
exploits, one of which was the saving of Fort Edward 
from destruction by fire at the risk of his own life. His 
ability and courage were recognized, and he was ad- 
vanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1762 he 

456 Washington Bicentennial 

participated in the arduous operations in the West 
Indies, at the end of which he was sent to the relief of 
Detroit. At the close of 1764 he returned to his home 
to end a 10 -year period of rough campaigning, with 
the rank of colonel. 

At this time Putnam joined the Sons of Liberty in 
Connecticut and became active in this organization. 
When General Gage was closing all entries to Boston 
as a punitive measure against the people of that city 
for their resistance to the authority of Parliament, Put- 
nam drove 130 head of sheep across the Neck to relieve 
the distress in that place occasioned by the British 
occupation and blockade. 

Immediately after the fight at Concord, a dispatch 
was sent to Pomf ret with news of the battle. The mes- 
sage reached Putnam on the afternoon of April 20 as 
he was plowing one of his fields. Leaving his plow in 
the furrow, the patriot mounted a horse without even 
waiting to put on his uniform, and early the next morn- 
ing rode into Cambridge, where he offered his services 
to the colonial army then forming. The same day he 
sent word to Pomf ret, directing the organization of the 
militia there, and then went to Hartford to confer with 
the Legislature of Connecticut. This body commis- 
sioned him brigadier and placed him in command of 
the forces of that State. 

At Bunker Hill Putnam was given his first oppor- 
tunity to face the British troops. Due to the action of 
Warren, who was the ranking officer on the field, in 
declining the command that day, Putnam himself be- 
came the ranking officer, although Stark and Prescott 
seem to have acted on their own initiative. However, 

News Releases 457 

the question as to who was in command on that occasion 
has not the importance which some controversialists 
have attached to it, since no particular generalship was 
involved and the significance of the battle lay wholly 
in the moral effect it produced. 

When Congress organized the Continental Army in 
June, 1775, George Washington was appointed Com- 
mander in Chief and Putnam was named one of the four 
major generals. Following the capture of Boston, Gen- 
eral Washington sent the doughty Connecticut farmer 
to New York, where he assumed command. When 
Greene became ill, Putnam was placed in command at 
Brooklyn Heights just two days before the British at- 
tacked at that point. For the disastrous defeat of the 
Americans which followed, General Putnam has been 
blamed by some, but in justice to the man it should be 
pointed out that there is no need of blaming anyone for 
the defeat of 5,000 half-trained troops by 20,000 vet- 
erans. The wonder is that the colonists were able to 
make it so interesting for General Howe that he was 
forced to pause long enough to allow Washington to 
plan the successful withdrawal of his troops. By his 
stubborn resistance to the enemy both here and at Kip's 
Bay, General Putnam signally distinguished himself. It 
was about this time that Washington in a letter to the 
President of Congress wrote: "General Putnam is a most 
valuable man and a fine executive officer." 

In May, 1777, the Connecticut general was placed in 
charge of the defense of the highlands on the Hudson. 
Here an incident occurred which was characteristic of 
Putnam. A lieutenant in the loyalist regiment named 
Edmund Palmer was discovered in the American camp. 

458 Washington Bicentennial 

He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death as a spy. 
The British seemed to think that the Americans repre- 
sented no sovereignty and hence had no right to inflict 
the death penalty on anyone. Sir Henry Clinton ac- 
cordingly sent a flag of truce from New York and 
threatened dire punishment if Putnam dared injure 
Edmund Palmer, liege subject of the king. The old 
hero's reply was characteristically laconic: 

"Edmund Palmer, an officer in the enemy's service, 
was taken as a spy lurking within our lines; he has been 
tried as a spy, condemned as a spy, and shall be executed 
as a spy, and the flag is ordered to depart immediately. — 
Israel Putnam. P. S. He has accordingly been executed." 

At the end of the year 1777 Putnam went to Con- 
necticut to hasten the work of securing recruits. For 
the next two years he was engaged in the western part 
of the State and was cooperating with the troops in the 
highlands. The old general made a short visit to his 
family at Pomfret in December, 1779, when the army 
went into winter quarters at Morristown. Soon after 
starting for camp he had a stroke of paralysis, which 
forced him to return to his home, where he spent the 
remaining years of his life, succumbing to his illness at 
last on May 19, 1790. 

Fearless, loyal, and able, General Putnam was one of 
the leading commanders of the patriot army. As long 
as he was able, he devoted himself to his country's strug- 
gle for freedom. General Washington considered him a 
personal friend and always entertained the highest re- 
gard for the old soldier's abilities and patriotism. Al- 
though an adopted son, he is one of whom Connecticut 
may well be proud. 

News Releases 459 

The Patriotic Thomas Paine 

In all the history of the American Revolution no 
other man, perhaps, occupies so singular a position as 
that held by Thomas Paine, prolific pamphleteer of 
the War of Independence. During the years of that 
bitter struggle, no pen in this country was more potent 
than his and none more definitely crystallized popular 
feeling behind the American leaders in the conflict. He 
has been credited with supplying the impetus to the 
movement toward separation from England which 
wrought its culmination in the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and there can be no doubt that the forceful 
appeal to the people contained in his pamphlets aroused 
hope and courage throughout the country. 

Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England, on 
January 29, 1737, the son of a Quaker corseter, who 
taught him the art of stay-making. This trade did not 
appeal to the youth, however, and he soon left home to 
enter the excise service. This occupation likewise failed 
to hold him, and he went to sea. But the life of a sailor 
was entirely too unattractive, and Paine soon returned 
to England and once more became an exciseman. It 
was while he was in this service that he gained the first- 
hand knowledge of official corruption which made him 
the implacable foe of privileged officialdom. 

Paine 's skill as a writer early came into evidence, and 
he was selected by his associates to prepare a criticism 
of the British excise system and suggestions for its im- 
provement. This paper attracted the attention of 
Franklin, who immediately recognized the ability of 
its author and suggested that Paine might find America 
a more desirable field for his writings. Accordingly, 

460 Washington Bicentennial 

Paine came to this country with letters from Franklin 
and soon became connected with Pennsylvania publica- 
tions. Shortly after his arrival here in 1774, the Penn- 
sylvania Journal printed a strong anti-slavery essay 
which he had written. 

In England Paine had been so consistently radical in 
his criticism of British governmental and political cus- 
toms that he seemed almost to hate his native land. In 
America he continued his attacks on King George, and 
early in 1776 was published his pamphlet, "Common 
Sense," in which he stated with singular clearness and 
force all the arguments that had been made in favor of 
the separation of the Colonies from the mother country. 
The effect this pamphlet had on the Americans was 
instant and electrifying. It was accorded a stupendous 
circulation both here and in Europe, where it was trans- 
lated into different languages and eagerly read by repub- 
licans in all nations. Contemporary colonial news- 
papers claimed that it influenced thousands of dubious 
Americans to embrace the cause of independence. 
Washington himself was impressed with the brochure, 
and some have gone so far as to say that the great gen- 
eral became converted to separation from England only 
after reading "Common Sense." 

Although Paine was opposed to war — his attitude 
being due in some measure to his early Quaker train- 
ing — he felt that America had been driven into an 
armed conflict by the tyranny and oppression of 
George III, and the name of Thomas Paine was early 
enrolled on the roster of the colonial forces as a protest 
against the policies of Britain's king. In the army Paine 
served under Gen. Nathanael Greene, another Quaker, 

News Releases 461 

and he proved to be a courageous soldier and valorous 
patriot. Here the fiery writer was an eye-witness to 
the sufferings of the "ragged Continentals" — in fact, 
he suffered privation and hardship with the rest of these 
heroic troops. 

During the national depression, which became so 
acute in the winter of 1776, Paine produced his first 
"Crisis." This pamphlet, beginning with the famous 
words, "These are the times that try men's souls," was 
written by firelight on a drumhead which served as a 
desk. The demand upon Paine at this time was great, 
for by day he faced the enemy with his gun and by 
night brought into play the genius of his pen. He wrote 
this first pamphlet of the series on his own initiative with 
the purpose of proving that the Americans were in 
reality successfully resisting General Howe, and that 
this country was entirely too large for the British to 
run over. 

The "Crisis," written in Paine's characteristic, plain, 
forceful style, accomplished much of the purpose for 
which its author prepared it. His arguments were 
stated clearly and to the point. George Washington 
and the rest of the revolutionary leaders recognized the 
value of utilizing Paine's powerful pen, and the fiery 
little writer became the official propagandist of the 
revolt. At regular intervals other pamphlets appeared, 
and it is certain that they went far to create the public 
morale which supported the revolutionary soldiers. 

Throughout the entire war Paine proved to be one of 
the most loyal and devoted of all the patriots. Vigorous 
and active always, his great contribution to American 
independence can not be questioned. Even when hope 

462 Washington Bicentennial 

seemed dim, he never gave up to despair. He con- 
tinually assailed King George and the policies of his gov- 
ernment. In one of his pamphlets directed at the Eng- 
lish monarch, Paine used the expression "United States 
of America," supposedly the first time this appellation 
was ever employed. His services were appreciated by 
the country, and New York gave him a large tract of 
land and Congress voted him $3,000. The congressional 
bequest was largely a result of the efforts of Washington, 
who had always admired Paine. Previously the Legis- 
lature of Pennsylvania had voted the author 500 pounds. 

After the Revolution, Paine turned his attention to 
science, for his ever- active mind could not allow him 
to be idle. He invented an iron bridge, which he tried 
to have adopted in this country. Meeting only with 
discouragement here, he took his model to Europe with 
the hope of greater success. But he had barely arrived 
in England when he became engaged in a verbal duel 
with Burke, to whose "Reflections on the French Revo- 
lution" Paine replied with his "Rights of Man." It 
created a stir among the government officials, who con- 
sidered the book seditious, and Paine was convicted of 
treason. But he escaped to France a few minutes before 
the officers sent to arrest him arrived on the scene. 

In France Paine found a situation which seemed to 
have been made expressly for him. Here were people 
struggling for their rights, and the champion of human 
liberty immediately plunged into the fight whole- 
heartedly. He was very popular with the revolutionists 
in France and several departments would have elected 
him to the National Convention. He chose to repre- 
sent Calais, and as a deputy from that place he op- 

News Releases 463 

posed the execution of Louis XVI. This action aroused 
the distrust of the extremists in the Revolutionary Party 
and when Robespierre came into power he had Paine 
thrown into the Luxembourg Prison, where he was held 
for 11 months. 

During this time Gouverneur Morris, the American 
Minister to France, refused to claim Paine as an Ameri- 
can citizen, although the latter had become naturalized 
soon after coming to the United States. This unfortu- 
nate experience so embittered Paine that he was never 
able to forget it. When Monroe succeeded Morris, one 
of his first acts was to request his countryman's free- 
dom. Paine was set free, but was forced by the hos- 
tility of the British to remain in France until he was 
given protected passage to this country on an American 

Once more in the United States, Paine found himself 
alienated from many of his old friends because of his 
"Age of Reason," which he had written in France, and 
which to many people appeared as an atheistic attack 
on all belief in God. He retired to his farm near New 
Rochelle, N. Y., and there spent the remainder of his 
days in seclusion. His life came to an end on June 8, 

Thomas Paine has been both praised and anathema- 
tized by biographers. Perhaps he never fully deserved 
the condemnation w^iich was heaped upon him during 
the later years of his life. Whatever his faults and mis- 
takes, lack of patriotism was not among them. Most 
certainly the United States still is indebted to him for his 
great service in moulding public opinion during the 
Revolutionary War. 

464 Washington Bicentennial 

Versatile Benjamin Franklin 

Next to George Washington, Benjamin Franklin was 
the best known American of the eighteenth century. 
He was renowned wherever civilized men gathered, in 
the circles of philosophy, science, and politics, as one 
of the foremost men of his time. His personality was 
so delightful that everyone who met him was charmed. 
His versatility seems to have known no bounds, but it 
was through his sound judgment, common sense, and 
clear thinking that he was able to attain his striking 
success. So great and varied are his achievements that 
only a comprehensive work could do justice to his many 

This great hero of the Revolutionary War and warm 
friend of Washington was born in Boston on January 
17, 1706. The service which Franklin rendered to his 
country during the struggle for liberty is invaluable. 
The aid which he obtained from France insured to the 
United States the lasting benefits of the victories which 
Washington won on the battle field. In fact, if Frank- 
lin had not been able to persuade the French to come to 
the assistance of the Colonies, perhaps Yorktown never 
would have taken place. 

When young Benjamin was 8 years old, his father 
sent him to a grammar school and later to a somewhat 
technical institution in Boston where he learned arith- 
metic. This was the extent of the boy's schooling, for 
when he was 10 his father set him to making candles. 
This was so distasteful to the lad that the elder Franklin 
became apprehensive lest he run away to sea. To fore- 
stall anything of this sort, Benjamin was apprenticed 
to his half-brother, James, who was a printer. Here his 

News Releases 465 

mind developed rapidly. At his brother's shop he came 
in contact with the liberal element of Boston, and from 
his reading of Locke, Bunyan, Plutarch, Defoe, and 
Mather he imbibed a broadening philosophy. The New 
England Courant, published by James and Benjamin, 
was called the "first sensational newspaper in America." 

But trouble was brewing, and in 1723 the 17-year- 
old Benjamin quarreled with his brother and went to 
Philadelphia. Everyone is familiar with the story of 
Franklin's entrance into that city, which has been pic- 
tured in school books to the great amusement of many 
young readers. As he walked down the street eating 
from a loaf of bread carried under his arm, he must 
have presented an appearance far from suggestive of the 
famous man he was destined to become. 

Obtaining employment in the Quaker City, Franklin 
soon attracted the attention of William Keith, the gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania, who persuaded him to go to 
London to study and to purchase equipment for a print- 
ing office. Keith promised the boy letters of introduc- 
tion and credit, but when Franklin arrived in London 
he found that the governor had not kept his word. Al- 
most penniless and without friends in that city, his 
condition was acute, but he soon obtained employment 
and made many friends. One of these was a wealthy 
Quaker merchant named Denham, who offered the 
youth a position in a store he was opening in Philadel- 
phia. Accordingly, Franklin returned to that city in 
1726, after having spent nearly two years in London. 
Within a short time Denham died, and Franklin found 
himself out of a job, but this may have been a good 

466 Washington Bicentennial 

thing for the youth, because his next step was an 
important one. 

In 1728 Franklin established a printing house with 
Hugh Meredith, and in 10 years had made it the most 
successful business of its kind in America. At this time 
he also purchased the Pennsylvania Gazette, a moribund 
newspaper, which under his management gained a cir- 
culation of about 10,000 and became one of the most 
prominent papers in the country. Soon afterward he 
began to publish his famous "Poor Richard's Almanac," 
containing the pithy maxims which retain their popu- 
larity to this day, and from which he made his fortune. 
He also became public printer of Pennsylvania, which 
added to his prestige, and in 1730 he married Deborah 
Read, with whom he had fallen in love some years 

During the next 20 years Franklin's popularity and 
activity steadily increased. He organized and became 
prominent in the Leathernapron Club, which he called 
the Junto and in which he learned the essentials of lead- 
ership. He organized the first fire company in Phila- 
delphia, founded the American Philosophical Society, 
became postmaster of Philadelphia, invented a stove, 
acquired interests in several of the Continental Colonies 
and in Jamaica, and became clerk of the Pennsylvania 

In 1745 he began to experiment with a Ley den jar 
sent to him from England, and his investigations in this 
field led to the discovery which made him famous as a 
scientist. Every schoolboy is familiar with Franklin's 
experiments with a kite and key by which he made the 
identification of lightning and electricity, and which 

News Releases 467 

he was the first to prove. He also framed the theory 
of two kinds of electricity, which he called negative and 
positive — a theory which still holds. With the lightning 
rod which he invented he was able to overcome to some 
extent the devastating effects of lightning, and this made 
him the best known scientist of the day. 

In the Pennsylvania Assembly Franklin had been 
prominent in the fight to obtain taxes from the pro- 
prietary interest of the Penns, and in 1757 he was sent 
to England to lay the case before the throne. Here he 
was received cordially by his old friends and he made 
many new ones. After five years he returned to the 
Colonies, only to be sent back to England to protest the 
imposition of the Stamp Act. He was called to testify 
in a famous examination before the House of Commons 
in which his tact and ability was largely responsible in 
having the obnoxious act repealed. He became the best 
known American in Europe and was popular every- 

Franklin returned to America in time to attend the 
First Continental Congress as a delegate from Pennsyl- 
vania. As a member of that body, he was appointed to 
the committee which drafted the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. He was made Postmaster General of the 
Colonies, and soon afterward went to France to secure 
the aid of that nation. By the French he was received 
enthusiastically, and they regarded him as one of the 
four greatest men in all history. This popularity was 
so great that the British were irked by it, but it enabled 
him to obtain the much-needed money for the Ameri- 
can Treasury. When the war was over, he was called 
upon to act as one of the peace commissioners, and in 

468 Washington Bicentennial 

framing the Treaty of Paris Franklin's activities were 
most eminent and useful. In 1785 he returned to Phila- 
delphia, but he had one more important service to per- 
form for his country. This was his participation, as a 
delegate from Pennsylvania, in the Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1787. Franklin was then 81 years old, and 
his age prevented him from taking part in the debates 
of that body. The influence he wielded in keeping the 
convention in order, however, is immeasurable. 

On April 17, 1790, three years after he had seen the 
government of his country firmly established, the life of 
Benjamin Franklin came to a close. Philosopher, states- 
man, philanthropist, writer, patriot, and scientist he was 
one of the most remarkable men of the age. He ad- 
mired and loved Washington, whose measure he seems 
to have accurately taken, for in his will he wrote: "My 
fine crab-tree- walking stick, with a gold head curiously 
wrought in the form of the cap of liberty, I give to my 
friend and the friend of mankind, General Washington. 
If it were a sceptre, he has merited it and would 
become it." 

Activities of Thomas Jefferson 

In the picturesque and dramatic period just before, 
during, and immediately after the Revolutionary War, 
there are probably but few figures who stand out in 
American history as does Thomas Jefferson, third Presi- 
dent of the United States, and the most conspicuous 
apostle of democracy in America. 

He was born at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Va., 
April 13, 1743. By a strange coincidence he died on July 
4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the 

News Releases 469 

Declaration of Independence, on the same day as John 
Adams, the second President of the United States, and 
(with one interruption from 1795 to 1809) life-long 

No American of this time had such versatility or such 
diversified interests. Jefferson was asked to draft the 
Declaration of Independence because of his reputation 
as a writer. Adams thus tells the story: "He brought 
with him a reputation for literary science and the happy 
talent for composition. Writings of his were handed 
about, remarkable for their peculiar felicity of expres- 
sion. It was the 'Summary View' which elicited the 
admiration of Edmund Burke." 

Jefferson was a student of William and Mary College 
at Williamsburg, Va. In addition to excelling in other 
studies, he had a good knowledge of Latin, Greek, and 
French, to which he soon added Italian and Spanish. 
He had an artistic temperament, loved music, and was 
an exceptionally good violinist. He was proficient in 
outdoor sports and an excellent horseman. Thorough- 
bred horses to him were a necessary luxury. 

Soon after leaving college, he entered a law office, and 
after five years of close study was admitted to the bar 
in 1767. His thorough preparation enabled him to 
compete from the first with the leading lawyers of the 

On January 1, 1772, he married Martha Wayles 
Skelton, a childless widow of 23, very handsome, accom- 
plished, and very fond of music. Their married life was 
exceedingly happy, and Jefferson never remarried after 
her early death. Of six children, two daughters alone 
survived infancy. Jefferson was emotional and very af- 

470 Washington Bicentennial 

fectionate at home, and his generous and devoted rela- 
tions with his children and grandchildren are among 
the finest phases of his character. 

In 1779, at almost the gloomiest stage of the war in 
the Southern States, Jefferson succeeded Patrick Henry 
as governor of Virginia, being the second to hold that 
office after the organization of the Government. In his 
second term the State was overrun by British troops, 
and Jefferson, a civilian, was blamed for the ineffectual 
resistance. Most of the criticism of his administration 
was grossly unjust. His conduct being attacked, he 
declined reelection to the governorship, but was unani- 
mously returned by Albemarle as a delegate to the State 

From 1784 to 1789 Jefferson was in France, first 
under an appointment to collaborate with Benjamin 
Franklin and John Adams in negotiating treaties of 
commerce with European countries, and then as Frank- 
lin's successor as minister to France. He was exceed- 
ingly popular as a minister. During this time he as- 
sisted in negotiating a treaty of amity and commerce 
with Prussia and one with Morocco, and negotiated 
with France a "convention defining and establishing 
the rights and privileges of consuls and vice consuls." 

When Jefferson left France it was with the intention 
of soon returning, but President Washington tendered 
him the Secretaryship of State, and he reluctantly ac- 
cepted. Alexander Hamilton was Secretary of the 
Treasury. These two men, antipodal in temperament 
and political beliefs, clashed with irreconcilable hostility, 
first on the financial proposals of Hamilton, which were 
adopted by Congress against the protests of Jefferson, 

News Releases 471 

then on the questions with regard to France and Great 
Britain, Jefferson's sympathies being predominantly with 
the former, Hamilton's with the latter. They formed 
about themselves two great parties, which took the 
names of Republican and Federalist. The schools of 
thought for which they stood have since contended for 
mastery in American politics. The name "Republican" 
was dropped at the time of the War of 1812. In 1853 
it was revived for a new party of very different political 

Jefferson was elected President, entering upon his 
duties March 4, 1801, and reelected in 1804. His ad- 
ministration was distinguished by the simplicity that 
marked his conduct in private life. 

When on March 4, 1809, he retired from the Presi- 
dency, he had been almost continuously in the public 
service for 40 years. He refused to be reelected for the 
third time, though requested by the legislatures of five 
States to be a candidate. Thus, following Washington's 
example, he helped to establish a precedent deemed by 
him of great importance for preserving a democratic 
spirit in the Presidency. 

When he died, he chose for his tomb the epitaph: 
"Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Dec- 
laration of Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for 
Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of 

Story of "Mad Anthony" Wayne 

To the people of Pennsylvania January 1 means more 
than the beginning of the New Year, for on that date 
in 1745 a baby boy was born in the Keystone State who 

472 Washington Bicentennial 

was destined to achieve honor for himself and his com- 
monwealth by his distinguished service to the United 
States in the Revolutionary War. Anthony Wayne 
was the name given to the infant at his christening, but 
by the time he was 35 years old his exploits on many 
battle fields had earned for him the soubriquet of "Mad 
Anthony," and he was acclaimed by his countrymen 
as a national hero. 

Anthony Wayne was born in East town, Pa., on 
January 1, 1745. His father was the son of Anthony 
Wayne, an Englishman who had lived for some years in 
Ireland before coming to America. After removing to 
this country the family seems to have done very well, 
and young Anthony's father had built up a comfortable, 
if moderate, fortune by the time his only son was born. 

Fighting blood seems to have characterized the 
Wayne's, for the grandfather of young Anthony had 
served gallantly under the banner of William III, and 
the boy's father had taken an active part in the con- 
flict between France and England in America. In fact, 
this military ardor was so strong in the future hero of 
Stony Point that it nearly ruined his academic educa- 
tion. His uncle, who was Anthony's first school master, 
complained to the boy's father that his son would have 
to give more attention to his studies or leave the school. 
Anthony was more interested in playing soldier than he 
was in studying. 

From this school young Anthony was sent to the 
academy at Philadelphia which later became the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. Here he showed remarkable 
ability in mathematics and at the age of 18 he became 
a surveyor. Already he was following in the footsteps 

News Releases 473 

of George Washington under whose military leadership 
he later served so brilliantly. 

Wayne was a member with Benjamin Franklin of the 
Pennsylvania Committee of Safety in 1775, and in that 
year he organized and drilled the Fourth Pennsylvania 
Regiment. He was commissioned colonel on January 
3, 1776, and the following June was sent with the Penn- 
sylvania troops to reenforce the northern army before 
Quebec. At Three Rivers he impetuously attacked a 
superior British force and in this engagement received 
his first wound. From here he went to Ticonderoga, 
where he was placed in command. Chafing under the 
inactivity of this service, he wrote to Washington urging 
that he be assigned to active duty in the field. 

Wayne was commissioned brigadier general in 
February, 1777, and two months later joined Wash- 
ington in New Jersey. During the summer of that year 
he proved a constant threat to the British in that State 
and was commended for his bravery and good conduct 
by the Commander in Chief. At the Battle of Brandy- 
wine Wayne was charged with the defense of Chad's 
Ford, where his spirited resistance checked the advance 
of Knyphausen's Hessians and was largely responsible 
for preventing a rout. A short time later he was at- 
tacked at Paoli by a superior British force, and here he 
suffered a severe defeat, although he succeeded in bring- 
ing off his men. 

During the winter at Valley Forge Wayne was 
charged with a great deal of the responsibility of ob- 
taining supplies for the Continental Army. Much of 
this was obtained from raids into the British lines, and 
in these Mad Anthony was a sore trial to the enemy. 

474 Washington Bicentennial 

When Clinton led his army from Philadelphia, Wayne 
hung on the rear of the English and wherever he went 
there was always a fight. This impetuous and cour- 
ageous young officer was indeed a dangerous foeman. 
In the heated engagement at Monmouth, Wayne's ef- 
forts, perhaps more than those of any other man except 
Washington, saved the Americans from disaster. 

The most daring and spectacular exploit of Mad 
Anthony's career occurred at midnight on July 15, 
1779, when he stormed the British garrison at Stony 
Point, and at the bayonet point forced the surrender 
of a fort which had been considered impregnable. This 
Hudson River post, strongly fortified, commanded 
King's Ferry and was naturally protected by a marsh, 
which at high tide was covered by water so deep that 
the place became an island. 

General Wayne led his troops to within a mile and 
a half of the fort and there waited for midnight. At 
the appointed time the Americans moved forward in 
two columns. In order to insure absolute secrecy, the 
muskets were unloaded except for a few belonging to 
the men who were to distract the attention of the British 
from the attacking columns. It was a perilous under- 
taking, and, from letters which Wayne wrote before 
the attack, it is evident that he was determined to take 
Stony Point or die in the attempt. 

Mad Anthony led the charge up the slope until he 
was struck in the head by a ball which inflicted a severe 
wound and knocked him senseless. He soon regained 
consciousness, however, and directed the movements of 
his troops until the British surrendered. It was a glori- 
ous triumph and even the Redcoats paid tribute to the 

News Releases 475 

valor and courage of the American soldiers and the gen- 
erosity toward the vanquished which was shown by the 
victors. General Wayne was warmly commended by 
Washington, Lafayette, Steuben, and all the rest of his 
fellow officers, and General Charles Lee called the affair 
the "most brilliant assault in history." 

In the disturbances among the American troops oc- 
casioned by the failure of Congress to provide them with 
money and supplies, Wayne proved that he could be 
diplomatic as well as impetuous. His influence with 
the men at this time was but an indication of the re- 
spect which the soldiers held for their leader, and his 
efforts secured a settlement of the difficulties. 

Early in 1781 Wayne was ordered to join Lafayette 
in Virginia, where he refused to be intimidated by Lord 
Cornwallis. Mad Anthony seriously hampered the 
Briton's movements, and in the engagement at Green 
Springs in which he was opposed by the entire British 
force he demonstrated his great ability as a general. At 
the siege of Yorktown, he opened the first parallel in 
the cordon which enclosed Cornwallis and was actively 
engaged during the entire investiture. 

Wayne received six wounds during his military ca- 
reer, one being inflicted by a shot from the gun of an 
American sentry at the camp of Lafayette. The guard 
was evidently nervous because of the proximity of the 
enemy and as Wayne approached his post on a dark 
night the man fired. The bullet struck the General in 
the thigh, glanced off the bone and lodged in the flesh. 
Mad Anthony excused the soldier, but his ire was aroused 
at the American commissary which had failed to put 
enough powder in the cartridge. "If the damned car- 

476 Washington Bicentennial 

tridge had a sufficiency of powder the ball would have 
gone quite through in place of lodging," he expostulated. 

Following Yorktown, General Wayne was sent to the 
South, where he continued active until the British had 
been driven out. After the war he returned to Penn- 
sylvania and resumed his civil life. He was a member 
of the convention which ratified the Constitution. 

In 1792 President Washington commissioned Wayne 
General in Chief of the American Army with the rank 
of Major General, and he was sent to the northwest to 
subjugate the Indians, a task in which both Harmar and 
St. Clair had failed. He marched into a hostile terri- 
tory, built three forts and offered the Indians peace. 
The savages refused to lay down their arms and on Au- 
gust 20, 1794, they met Mad Anthony in the Battle of 
Fallen Timbers. Wayne defeated the redskins, and de- 
stroyed their villages for miles around. It was a chasten- 
ing the Indians long remembered and they gave the 
white warrior the name of "Black Snake," because that 
reptile will attack any other species and nearly always 
emerges victorious from its encounters. 

Mad Anthony returned to Pennsylvania from his last 
battle with "both body and mind fatigued by congest," 
but was soon appointed by Washington as commissioner 
to treat with the Indians. While on this mission he be- 
came ill and died at Presque Isle, now Erie, Pa., on De- 
cember 15, 1796. 

Loved and esteemed by all his countrymen, a warm 
and lifelong friend of George Washington, no man ren- 
dered more brilliant and distinguished service to his land 
than did this dashing, impetuous, fearless Pennsylvanian. 
Many times the Commander in Chief commended him 

News Releases 477 

for his bravery and ability. This esteem and admiration 
was mutual, for during the long association of Wash- 
ington and Wayne, they often conferred and each re- 
spected the judgment of the other. Mad Anthony is 
said to have remarked on one occasion that he would 
storm the gates of hell if Washington would plan the 

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride 

"Listen, my children, and you shall hear 
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere." 

In these famous words the beloved poet, Longfellow, 
began his own account of an important and colorful 
incident in American history. This excellent story- 
poem is universally known among the school children 
of the country, but it seems that the venerable bard al- 
lowed his sense of the dramatic to obscure the facts in 
the case, with the result that a somewhat fictitious story 
has been perpetuated in an interesting but inaccurate 
epic. For, instead of reaching Concord, as Longfellow 
relates, Paul Revere was captured by the English just 
outside of Lexington. 

The year 1775 opened upon a very critical situation 
in the American Colonies, and even the most hopeful 
were becoming convinced that an armed conflict with 
the mother country was inevitable. British troops were 
stationed in Boston, which was considered the hot bed 
of rebellion, but the presence of these soldiers only made 
worse an already hopeless condition. The citizens of 
Boston vigorously protested England's action in station- 
ing an army there, and committees were formed to keep 

478 Washington Bicentennial 

a vigilant eye on the redcoats and all their movements. 
One purpose of these committees was to prevent the 
capture of John Hancock and Samuel Adams, whom 
the English regarded as seditionists and who were at that 
time really the leaders of the Massachusetts resistance 
to the authority of Parliament. 

Paul Revere, a Boston silversmith, whose father was 
a Huguenot refugee to the colonies, was a member of 
one of these committees which reported directly to 
Adams and Hancock. In the early part of April, 1775, 
the movements of the British troops aroused the suspi- 
cions of the patriot vigilantes, who became convinced 
that the capture of their leaders was intended. Revere 
had visited Lexington a few days before his memorable 
ride took place and on his way back to Boston had 
stopped in Charlestown to arrange with a friend the 
means to be employed in apprising the latter of the 
movements of the soldiers. Adams and Hancock were 
in Lexington and if their capture were intended the men 
had to be informed beforehand. 

On the night of April 18, Dr. Joseph Warren learned 
that 800 troops under Lieut. Col. Francis Smith were 
leaving with the double objective of capturing Hancock 
and Adams and destroying the military stores at Con- 
cord which the patriots had been collecting. The fu- 
ture hero of Bunker Hill immediately dispatched Wil- 
liam Dawes for Lexington, from which place he was 
to proceed to Concord. Warren then sent for Revere, 
whom he instructed to ride to these villages by another 
route. The patriot silversmith sought out a friend and 
requested him to place two lanterns in the tower of 
North Church as a signal to the watchers in Charles- 

News Releases 479 

town, then proceeded to the Charles River, where a boat 
awaited him. In this craft, with muffled oar-locks, he 
was rowed to the opposite shore, passing under the guns 
of the British man-of-war, Somerset, and avoiding by- 
five minutes the soldiers who had been sent to detain 

In Charlestown Revere found that his signals had been 
seen, and procuring a horse, he immediately set off for 
Lexington. He had just passed Charlestown Neck when 
he saw two mounted British officers waiting under a 
tree. As these men rode toward him, Revere took flight 
and succeeded in eluding his would-be captors after one 
of them had been caught in a clay pond. In a letter 
written to a friend sometime later, Revere, describing 
his ride, said that from here on he "alarmed almost every 
House" until he reached Lexington. 

When he arrived at this place the courier patriot rode 
directly to the house of Rev. Jonas Clark, where Han- 
cock and Adams were staying. He apprised these men 
of their danger and after partaking of refreshments he 
started for Concord with Mr. Dawes, who arrived in 
the meantime, to warn the militia there of the British 
plans to capture the stores collected in that city. They 
were joined by Dr. Prescott, a young patriot of that vi- 
cinity, but after proceeding only a short distance the 
three Americans were accosted by a body of English 
soldiers. Prescott escaped by jumping his horse over 
a stone wall, but his two companions were captured and 
in this abrupt manner the "midnight ride of Paul Re- 
vere" was rudely terminated. Prescott alone of the 
three riders was able to reach Concord. 

Revere was not detained long by his captors, who re- 

480 Washington Bicentennial 

turned with him to Lexington, where he was relieved 
of his horse. He then assisted Adams and Hancock to 
a more secluded retreat, after which he probably re- 
turned to his home in Boston. 

Despite the difference between the facts in the case 
and the picture drawn in Longfellow's immortal poem, 
Paul Revere remains none the less a patriot hero. 
Throughout the entire Revolution he was prominent 
in his service to his country. At first he acted as a mes- 
senger and made several trips from Boston to New York 
and Philadelphia to carry word to Congress of the situa- 
tion in Massachusetts. He was one of the leaders in the 
Boston Tea Party. But his most famous exploit was, 
of course, his ride to Lexington. 

A fact perhaps too little known is that Revere was 
"the most remarkable man to develop American indus- 
tries that the first 200 years of American history pro- 
duced." He was an expert gold-and-silversmith; he 
rolled copper for use on the Constitution; he was an 
engraver, a dentist and an iron molder. He manufac- 
tured bells which were among the finest in the country 
and over 75 of these bells are still in use in New England. 
The copper rolling industry he established in Canton, 
Mass., in 1801, is still in existence and is conducted to- 
day by direct descendants of its founder. 

When Paul Revere died on May 10, 1818, he was 83 
years old and enjoyed the respect and esteem of all his 
countrymen. He had served his country well and hon- 
orably — his life had been long and useful. Today Amer- 
ica honors his memory in gratitude for his loyalty to 
the cause of independence. 

News Releases 481 

The Story of Nathan Hale 

On September 22, 1776, there was enacted in the 
City of New York, then in the hands of the British, a 
scene which ended the life of one of America's most 
revered patriots. On that day, alone in the presence 
of enemies, with no friend to lend strength and courage 
in his last hours, young Nathan Hale, condemned as a 
spy, went to his death on a British gallows. In com- 
memoration of the one hundred and fifty-fourth anni- 
versary of this courageous youth's sacrifice to his coun- 
try the Information Division of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, organ- 
ized for the celebration in 1932 of the two hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of George Washington, calls 
attention to the facts connected with Hale's heroic 
mission, which terminated so unhappily. 

It will be recalled that after the British had 
evacuated Boston in the spring of 1776, the next place 
which became the point of dispute was New York City. 
Gen. George Washington correctly divined the plans 
of Lord Howe, who intended to capture that city and 
use it as a base for future operations against the so- 
called rebel army. In an effort to defend the metropolis, 
Washington endeavored to strongly fortify the place 
against attack, but as yet the Continental Army was 
little more than an untrained crowd, and the Com- 
mander in Chief was unable to obtain even the neces- 
sary supplies for the soldiers. Hampered by the lack 
of munitions and the neglect of Congress to supply his 
needs, Washington could hardly fail to appreciate the 
precariousness of his position. 

If the American Army was to be successful in the 

482 Washington Bicentennial 

coming conflict, then it was of vital importance that 
no opportunity to gain the advantage of the enemy be 
lost. Howe seemed content to move warily, and Wash- 
ington felt that a secret service system of some kind 
would work to good advantage in obtaining advance 
information of the British plans. By being forewarned, 
the Americans could move in such a way that their own 
military inferiority would not be so serious a handicap. 

The Britons had won a victory at the Battle of Long 
Island, and Washington was forced to withdraw from 
New York. However, he was not content to leave the 
field entirely to his foe and determined to make it warm 
for the Redcoats. He felt the imperative need of intelli- 
gence from the enemy camp, and at this juncture called 
for a volunteer to enter the British lines and obtain the 
important information. The man who answered this 
call was the 21 -year-old Capt. Nathan Hale. 

Hale had enlisted in July, 1775, as a lieutenant. His 
first military experience had been gained at the siege 
of Boston, where he was advanced by a congressional 
commission to a captaincy. From here he accompanied 
the victorious army to New York, where he assisted in 
the preparations for the defense of that city. After 
serving for a time in his regular capacity, he became 
attached to Knowlton's Rangers, a body of light horse 
already becoming famous as scouts. 

When General Washington asked for some one to 
accept the dangerous mission of a spy, it is said that 
Captain Hale at first declined to volunteer because of 
a recent illness, but after considering the matter de- 
cided to offer his services. Although a brother officer 
sought to dissuade him upon the grounds that he had so 

News Releases 483 

slight a chance for success and that failure meant only 
an ignominious death, the young patriot was not to be 
shaken when once his decision had been reached. 

From the Commander in Chief, Hale received his 
instructions and an order directing the boatmen along 
the East River to place themselves at his disposal. One 
of these, a Captain Pond, conveyed him across the 
stream, and Hale found himself, disguised as a Dutch 
schoolmaster, in the territory of the enemy. Naturally, 
the utmost secrecy attended his departure, but informa- 
tion later brought to light has fixed it at about Septem- 
ber 10 or 12. 

Only meager details have been discovered as to the 
activities of the youth from this time until the night 
of September 21, when he was apprehended and taken 
before Lord Howe. That he inspected the British forti- 
fications, made drawings, and recorded data concerning 
them is certain, because it was these papers, found on 
his person, that led the English commander to sum- 
marily order his execution as a spy. He was denied 
the formality of a trial, for, as if the papers in his 
possession were not evidence enough, he proudly stated 
to his captors that he was an American captain fighting 
for the freedom of his country, and without hesitation 
admitted the object of his mission. A story which 
gained credence among his associates laid his capture to 
betrayal by one of his Tory relatives, who, it is said, 
recognized him as he was about to return to the Amer- 
ican lines. But historians have since discredited this 

Hale was turned over to the provost marshal, an 
inhuman loyalist named Cunningham, whose cruelties 

484 Washington Bicentennial 

had already marked him with infamy. The execution 
was to take place before sunrise and was to be effected 
in the mode usually accorded spies — by hanging. From 
subsequent reports given by the British it is certain 
that Hale received his sentence calmly and with that 
same courage which had long before made him a valu- 
able officer in Washington's army. Even the English- 
men were impressed with the unflinching bravery of 
their youthful prisoner, who so cheerfully offered his 
life for his country's liberty. 

The provost marshal, determined to make the hated 
patriot's death as shameful as possible, allowed no mili- 
tary dignity to be accorded him. The condemned man 
was denied the services of a chaplain, or even the solace 
of a Bible. He wrote letters to his sweetheart and 
brother, which were promptly destroyed before his very 
eyes by the despicable Cunningham. Even this in- 
human treatment failed to daunt the boy, and, as he 
mounted the scaffold, he said, "You are shedding the 
blood of the innocent; if I had ten thousand lives, I 
would lay them down in defence of my injured, bleed- 
ing country." With the immortal words, "I only regret 
that I have but one life to lose for my country," Nathan 
Hale, patriot, went to his death in the performance of 
his duty. 

It was the spirit manifested here by Nathan Hale 
which lived in his countrymen and enabled them to 
triumph over the despotism of a misguided king. Only 
men of this indomitable character, united under the 
leadership of the incomparable Washington, could have 
achieved the ultimate victory. Although Nathan Hale 
met a tragic and miserable fate, his service, devotion, 

News Releases 485 

and patriotism will never be forgotten. His name 
belongs with the immortals of the American Revolution. 

John Jay — First Chief Justice 

Many a man in official life has tried honestly to serve 
his country's interests only to find his action disapproved 
and misunderstood by the general public. It may de- 
velop later that his vision was far-sighted, and then he 
may receive belated approbation from his countrymen; 
or, perhaps, appreciation for him may even be left to 
another generation. 

One such man lived in America during the Revolu- 
tionary War period. This man was John Jay, the first 
Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Jay 
is remembered by most Americans as the man who ne- 
gotiated the treaty agreement with England which has 
since been known by his name. It was this treaty, ne- 
cessitated by the British and American misunderstand- 
ings growing out of the Treaty of Paris, which made 
Jay so unpopular in this country for some time. Many 
Americans thought that the treaty made too many con- 
cessions to Great Britain, although it was approved by 
Washington and other officials of that time. An inter- 
esting fact in the matter is that Lord Grenville, who 
signed the papers on behalf of Great Britain, was also 
denounced by his countrymen as having been duped by 
the American minister. 

Jay was born in New York December 12, 1745. His 
father, a wealthy merchant of Huguenot descent, see- 
ing that the boy was of a serious-minded nature, sent 
young John to a private school for three years. At the 
end of that time the youth was placed under a tutor 

486 Washington Bicentennial 

until he entered King's College, now Columbia Univer- 
sity, at the age of 14. In 1764 he graduated from that 
institution and immediately entered the office of Ben- 
jamin Kissam, a prominent lawyer of New York City. 
Young Jay agreed to work in this firm as an apprentice, 
bound for a service of five years. He was admitted to 
the bar in 1768, and soon became a prominent attorney 
and a partner of Robert R. Livingston. 

The public career of John Jay began in 1773 when 
he was appointed secretary to the Royal Commission 
to determine the boundary between New York and 
Canada. At this time he was 28 years old, and for the 
next 28 years he was to be active in his country's serv- 
ice. Oddly enough, Jay's life was thus divided into three 
periods of 28 years each, for when he retired from office 
in 1801 at the end of his second term as governor of 
New York, he enjoyed 28 years of private life until his 
death in 1829. 

When difficulties first began between England and her 
Colonies, Jay was opposed to separation from the mother 
country. However, when it was decided that a change 
of government was necessary, Jay was found to be as 
staunch and aggressive as any other patriot. He drafted 
the suggestion for the meeting of the Continental Con- 
gress, and was a member of that body when it first con- 
vened. A committee was appointed to "state the rights 
of the colonies in general," and Jay was designated to 
prepare an address to the people of Great Britain. He 
did this so well that the address was at once reported 
to and approved by Congress. When Jefferson read the 
paper, without knowing its authorship, he declared it 
"a production certainly of the finest pen in America." 

News Releases 487 

At this time Jay was serving on so many congressional 
committees that his associates marvelled at his ability 
to perform the duties involved. Despite this activity, 
he still found time to write a great deal, and many look 
upon him as the most effective molder of public opinion 
of that period. 

Jay's life is lacking in the military exploits which have 
added such lustre to the names of Warren, Morgan, 
Greene, Sullivan, Knox, Wayne, .and all the other great 
soldiers of the Revolutionary War. The service he ren- 
dered was not on the field of battle but in the halls of 
Congress, in the field of foreign relations and on the 
bench of the judiciary. In these offices he served his 
country with as great distinction and honor as if he had 
been a warrior. 

It was because of his loyal response to the demands 
of his colony that the name of John Jay does not appear 
among those affixed to the Declaration of Independence. 
He was prevented from signing that great document 
because New York called him home to aid in the organi- 
zation of a government there. In 1777 he wrote the 
constitution which was adopted by the legislature with 
very few changes, and under the government thus 
formed, Jay was appointed chief justice of New York. 

In 1779 Jay served as President of Congress until Oc- 
tober of that year, when he became minister to Spain. 
In this position he confronted a difficult task. The 
Spanish government feared the ambitious new country 
and was reluctant to jeopardize her own interests in 
Europe and elsewhere by an open encouragement of the 
course of the colonies. 

While still in Spain, Jay was appointed to the commis- 

488 Washington Bicentennial 

sion for general peace along with Franklin, Jefferson, 
John Adams, and Henry Laurens. Congress instructed 
these peace commissioners not to conclude a separate 
peace with Britain, for it was supposed that France 
would approve all the claims of the United States. Jay 
soon felt, however, that Talleyrand so feared the grow- 
ing power of the new nation that he was opposed to 
many of the American claims. Jay took the lead in the 
peace negotiations, and although he was at first opposed 
by Franklin, he negotiated a separate treaty with Eng- 
land which secured concessions that were far more 
liberal than had been hoped for by even the most san- 

Returning to America, Jay was active in his advocacy 
of a strong Federal Government under a constitution. 
This activity was one of the factors which influenced 
New York to approve the Constitution. When Wash- 
ington was elected President, it is said that he offered 
Jay his choice of office in the new government. Jay 
selected the office of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, 
to which position he was appointed. In notifying him 
of the nomination, Washington said: 

"I not only acted in conformity with my best judg- 
ment, but I trust I did a grateful thing to the good citi- 
zens of these United States." 

It was in 1794 that Jay accepted the mission he knew 
would be so difficult and unpopular. Relations with 
Great Britain were strained at the time due to the fact 
that certain stipulations of the Treaty of Paris had never 
been carried out by that country. With a desire to avoid 
a rupture, Washington sent Jay to England as special 
minister to adjust the differences between the two coun- 

News Releases 489 

tries. The result of these negotiations with Grenville, 
British secretary of foreign affairs, was the famous Jay's 
Treaty which Congress accepted. War sentiment was 
at such a height in this country, however, that Jay was 
everywhere denounced. It has already been noted that 
the people of England believed Grenville to have been 
inveigled by the American into making altogether too 
many concessions in the same treaty. 

When Jay returned to the United States again, it was 
to find that he had been elected governor of New York, 
the election having taken place before the results of his 
mission to England were known. As evidence that his 
undeserved unpopularity did not long remain, in New 
York at any rate, Jay was reelected to the gubernatorial 
chair by so large a majority as to constitute a personal 

During his occupancy of the Supreme Court bench 
as its first Chief Justice, Jay's services were invaluable 
in shaping the foreign policies of the new country and 
establishing the dignity and independence of the Fed- 
eral judiciary. Daniel Webster once said of him, "When 
the spotless ermine of the judicial robe fell on John Jay, 
it touched nothing less spotless than itself." To the end 
of the First President's life, Jay enjoyed the esteem 
and friendship of George Washington, who frequently 
sought and heeded his counsel. His long and useful life 
ended on May 17, 1829, at his home in Bedford, N. Y. 

Anniversary of Patrick Henry's Birth 

"Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Crom- 
well, and George the Third— may profit by their 
example. If this be treason, make the most of it." 

490 Washington Bicentennial 

What schoolboy is not familiar with these immortal 
words? Who has not read them and visualized the fiery 
and eloquent Patrick Henry making this irresistible 
appeal to his countrymen to resist the oppressive meas- 
ures of the British ministry, The undying fame that 
came to the young Virginia lawyer because of this 
speech was well deserved, as his later life proved, for 
no one in all the American Colonies was a stauncher 
patriot or more ardent advocate of liberty. 

Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Va., 
May 26, 1736, and the Division of Information and 
Publication of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission has issued a statement com- 
memorating the one hundred and ninety-fifth anniver- 
sary of his birth. This birthday is marked by the Bi- 
centennial Commission as one of the dates to be ob- 
served in connection with the nation-wide celebration 
next year of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth 
of George Washington, which will begin on February 22 
and continue until the following Thanksgiving Day. 

Henry was one of the leaders of the patriot cause 
during the Revolutionary War. In fact, he was per- 
haps responsible, more than any other one man, except 
George Washington, for directing the sentiment of 
Virginia in favor of the complete separation of the 
Colonies from the mother country. 

Henry was always an admirer and personal friend of 
George Washington, although the two men differed 
widely in their political beliefs. Washington favored a 
strong central government, while Henry was decidedly 
averse to any serious encroachments on the authority of 
the States. While Washington advocated the adoption 

News Releases 491 

of the Federal Constitution, Henry vigorously opposed 
its ratification in Virginia. He had served several terms 
as governor of the Old Dominion, and his influence in 
that State was so great that he was able to prevent the 
election of James Madison to the United States Senate. 
He opposed Madison because of his part in framing the 

Despite the political differences between them, 
Washington always entertained the highest regard for 
Patrick Henry. In fact, Washington frequently ex- 
pressed himself as feeling greatly indebted to his fellow 
Virginian because of the personal friendliness he dis- 
played during the Revolutionary War. "When Wash- 
ington was at Valley Forge, with the Conway Cabal at 
its most threatening stage, Henry forwarded to the 
general letters he had received from some of the con- 
spirators. It was a friendly act by which he hoped to 
put Washington on his guard. 

Because of his devotion to the welfare of his country 
during the most trying period of her early existence, 
Patrick Henry rightly occupies a place of prominence 
on her roll of honor. He ardently desired the independ- 
ence of the United States, and to this end his whole- 
hearted efforts were fearlessly engaged. The esteem in 
which he was held by his associates in Virginia is attested 
by the many terms he was called to serve as governor of 
that State. When he died on June 6, 1799, he had just 
been elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Virginia's regard for the great orator is today shared 
by the entire Nation. In the hearts of his countrymen 
will always burn his immortal statement: "Give me 
liberty or give me death!" 

492 Washington Bicentennial 

Hamilton and Jefferson Traded Votes in Selecting 
Capital Site 

It is not easy to realize today the significance of the 
compromise which located the Capital of the United 
States on the banks of the Potomac and placed on the 
Federal Government the responsibility of paying the 
State debts incurred during the Revolution. Alexander 
Hamilton was the foremost advocate of the Federal 
assumption of State debts. It was linked up with the 
establishment of a national bank, the project most vital 
to his dreams of a great Union, and he was backed by 
the sentiment of the North. On the other hand, Jef- 
ferson and the agricultural South looked with abhor- 
rence upon what appeared to them the beginning of an 
oligarchy of wealth. 

The differences between these factions grew into an 
ever-widening division which threatened to wreck the 
Union before it was really under way, and a compromise 
became imperative. The leading parts in the closing 
of this rift were taken by Hamilton and Jefferson. 

The bill providing for the Federal Government's 
assumption of State debts had been defeated by a nar- 
row margin. Hamilton felt that the cause was not 
entirely lost. He believed that this rejection could be 
rescinded, and he set about securing the votes neces- 
sary to accomplish his purpose. Some of the Congress- 
men were threatening secession and dissolution, thoughts 
of which Hamilton was unable to tolerate. He went to 
Jefferson, who recorded the incident in his diary. 

"Hamilton was in despair," wrote Jefferson. "As I 
was going to the President's one day, I met him in the 
street. He walked me backwards and forwards before 

News Releases 493 

the President's door for half an hour. He painted 
pathetically the temper into which the legislature had 
been wrought; the disgust of those who were called the 
creditor States, the danger of the secession of their mem- 
bers, and the separation of the States." 

Hamilton encouraged Jefferson to use his influence 
with his friends to secure the votes. In return he prom- 
ised to get enough votes to locate the Capital on the 
Potomac. Jefferson's diary continues: 

"But it was observed that this pill would be peculiarly 
bitter to the Southern States and that some concomitant 
measures should be adopted to sweeten it a little to them. 
There had been before a proposition to fix the Seat of 
Government either at Philadelphia or at Georgetown 
on the Potomac; and it was thotight by giving it to 
Philadelphia for 10 years and to Georgetown perma- 
nently afterwards, this might, as an anodyne, calm in 
some degree the ferment which might be excited by 
the other measure alone. So two of the Potomac mem- 
bers (White and Lee, but White with a revulsion of 
stomach almost convulsive) agreed to change their 
votes and Hamilton undertook to carry the other point. 
In doing this the influence he had established over the 
eastern members, with the agency of Robert Morris, 
with those of the Middle States, effected his side of the 
agreement, and so the assumption was passed." 

In the compromise thus effected the Union, so dear 
to the hearts of Hamilton and Jefferson, was perpetu- 
ated. Controversy, .of proportions difficult to appre- 
ciate today, was settled not only by the sagacity and 
patience of these two men, but by their shrewd knowl- 

494 Washington Bicentennial 

edge of the political minds of their constituents and 
their personal desire to make the Union permanent. 

James Monroe Wounded at Trenton 

Overshadowed perhaps by his great accomplishments 
in later life, it is not generally known that James Monroe, 
the fifth President of the United States, was seriously 
wounded at the Battle of Trenton while serving under 
Gen. George Washington, and that he carried the bullet 
in his left shoulder during the rest of his life. 

James Monroe possessed all the requisites of the 
soldier, including courage, strength, skill, and robust 
health. Although barely out of his teens, this famous 
American patriot participated in the furious Battles of 
Harlem Heights, White Plains, Trenton, Brandywine, 
Germantown, and Monmouth, and took a leading part 
in each of them. 

It was at the age of 17 that he left his home in West- 
moreland County, Va., for William and Mary College, 
at which time, it is stated, there were only about 60 
students there. Most of them, however, represented the 
most distinguished families of colonial Virginia, and 
they shared with each other the never to be forgotten 
experiences of the spring and winter of 1775 and the 
first half of the year 1776. 

James Monroe joined the Third Virginia Regiment 
on June 24, 1776. Two months later he marched North 
under the command of Capt. William Washington, a 
kinsman of the Commander in Chief of the Continental 
Army. At this time Monroe, who was barely 18 years 
old, acted as a first lieutenant. 

News Releases 495 

The march to New York was a long one, and the 
Third Virginia Regiment arrived just in time to par- 
ticipate in the Battle o£ Harlem Heights. This was 
Monroe's "baptism of fire," fought in what is now the 
very heart of New York City, and it was the begin- 
ning for him of a series of battles at the rate of one a 

At the Battle of Trenton he played a highly creditable 
and even heroic part. It was on this memorable 
Christmas Eve that the American troops under the com- 
mand of General Washington crossed the Delaware 
during a severe snowstorm. Col. William Washington's 
men from time to time had been used for scout duty, 
and it is generally conceded by historians that his young 
lieutenant, James Monroe, was the first man to cross the 
Delaware. There is a record in existence which states 
that "Lieutenant Monroe, with a piece of artillery, was 
sent across the river to Pennington's Road, but joined 
the army the next morning." After rejoining his com- 
pany, he found himself among the first in the fight. In 
capturing some Hessian guns both Captain Washing- 
ton and Lieutenant Monroe were wounded, the captain 
being shot in both hands, and Monroe in the shoulder 
by a ball which cut an artery. It was his left shoulder, 
and the ball remained there as long as he lived. This 
gallant act on the part of these two officers helped 
materially to demoralize the enemy at a most critical 
time, and materially hastened the victory of the Amer- 
icans at the battle of Trenton. For "bravery under 
fire" Monroe was promoted by Gen. George Washington 
on the field to the rank of captain. 

Elaborate ceremonies will mark the unveiling of 

496 Washington Bicentennial 

Monroe's statue on April 28, 1931, the one hundred and 
seventy-third anniversary of his birth, at Ash Lawn, 
Va., where he spent 26 years of his life. 

This is the famous "lost" statue of President Monroe, 
a titanic figure 11 feet high, carved from a solid block 
of marble 3 3 years ago for Venezuela. 

When it is erected it will be the first statue of Monroe, 
the original isolationist, author of the Monroe Doctrine 
and thrice an ambassador of the United States to foreign 
lands, to be erected in his native State. It will also be 
the largest figure of any statue now in Virginia. 

The gigantic figure of Monroe weighs 3 tons and 
was made by Attillio Piccirilli, New York sculptor, on 
the order of President Crespo, president of Venezuela, 
following a controversy between England and the Latin- 
American Republic, in which President Cleveland in- 
tervened under the Monroe Doctrine. President Crespo 
planned to place the statue before the capitol at 
Caracas, but before it could be shipped a revolution 
resulted in the overthrow of the government and 
Crespo died in jail. 

Birthday Anniversary of Madison 

One of the significant dates in the month of March 
is the birthday of James Madison, the "Father of the 
Constitution." Madison was born on March 16, 1751, 
at Port Conway, Va. 

Unlike the military services of Washington and his 
army officers, Madison's contribution to the establish- 
ment of the United States was spectacular in no respect. 
He was essentially a statesman and in the field of gov- 

News Releases 497 

ernment and politics he had few superiors. In this 
sphere his services have proved to be of everlasting bene- 
fit to this country. 

At the College of New Jersey, now Princeton, Madi- 
son demonstrated a prodigious capacity for work, and 
he was graduated at an early age. He was deeply inter- 
ested in history and religion, and his studies along these 
lines formed a broad basis for the sound judgment which 
characterized his participation in public life. 

Madison's first venture in politics came with his elec- 
tion to the legislature of his own state. Here he revealed 
the results of his previous study. He evinced a pro- 
nounced antagonism toward any kind of religious in- 
tolerance and advocated the absolute separation of 
church and state. When a bill was introduced provid- 
ing that "all men should enjoy the fullest toleration in 
the exercise of religion," Madison so effectively opposed 
it that the clause was changed to read, "all men are 
equally entitled to the free exercise of religion." 

As a member of the Continental Congress in 1780, 
Madison strongly advocated the establishment of an 
impost law as part of a Federal tax system. No one real- 
ized better than he the need of a strong central govern- 
ment. He recognized that the weakness of the Confed- 
eration lay in its inability to raise money, and he was 
among the foremost to urge the adoption of efficient 
revenue measures. He opposed the issuance of paper 
money and his masterly reasoning against the evil was 
responsible for Virginia's escape from the craze which 
swept the country in 1786. 

The Annapolis Convention which resulted later in 
the Constitutional Convention in 1787, was Madison's 

498 Washington Bicentennial 

proposal. Of all the delegates to the latter, Madison 
was perhaps the best informed. He had made an ex- 
haustive study of the history of confederacies and fed- 
eral unions, and he was ready with his own suggestion, 
which was known as the Virginia Plan. This was 
adopted as the basis of the Federal Government which 
was outlined in the Constitution. 

When the Constitution was ready, Madison worked 
with Hamilton and Jay in the preparation of the series 
of pamphlets called "The Federalist." These brochures 
were written to overcome the prejudice against the Con- 
stitution and to secure its adoption by the states. In 
Virginia, this great instrument was vigorously opposed 
by Henry Lee and Patrick Henry, but Madison argued 
so strongly in favor of it that he secured the old Domin- 
ion's ratification. Madison was defeated in his bid for 
the Senate largely because of the efforts of Henry. He 
was, however, elected to the House, where he offered 
12 amendments to the Constitution embodying the sa- 
lient points of a bill of rights. The first 10 of these 
amendments were adopted in 1791. 

Madison left the House of Representatives and retired 
from public life at the close of Washington's second ad- 
ministration. Retirement in the strictest sense, how- 
ever, was impossible for him, and he attacked the ad- 
ministration's neutrality in the war between France and 
England. The Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 led to 
the fall of the Federalist party and brought about the 
election of Jefferson to the Presidency. Madison had 
been Jefferson's friend for years, and now he accepted 
the portfolio of Secretary of State. 

After serving in complete harmony with Jefferson, 

News Releases 499 

Madison, as the logical successor to the Sage of Monti- 
cello, was elected to the Presidency. 

Madison's career was one of illustrious service to his 
country, and Americans everywhere may well recall his 

contribution to the United States. 

mm _^___ 

President Adams First to Occupy White House 

The whimsical suggestion of Francis Hopkinson, one 
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and 
a member of the Continental Congress, that the "per- 
manent" capital of the new Nation be placed on wheels, 
so that it could be moved from place to place, is not 
hard to understand when it is realized that the Conti- 
nental Congress, from September 4, 1774, to October 
21, 1788, was in session in no less than eight towns. 

The towns were Philadelphia, Pa.; Baltimore, Md.; 
Lancaster, Pa.; York, Pa.; Princeton, N. J.; Annapolis, 
Md.; Trenton, N. J., and New York City. 

The selection of a permanent capital for the United 
States proved to be one of the most vexatious problems 
that was, for more than 17 years, before both the Con- 
tinental and the United States Congress, and the matter 
was brought up and debated at practically every ses- 
sion until the District of Columbia was finally decided 

The first meeting place of the new Congress was New 
York City, and the temporary capitol was the old city 
hall, which was renamed Federal Hall. Subscriptions 
amounting to $32,000 provided for the refurnishing 
of the building. It was a fine structure and a grand 
vestibule, paved with marble, prepared one for the Sen- 

500 Washington Bicentennial 

ate Chamber with its azure ceiling from which shone 
the sun and 13 stars. From this room three windows 
opened upon a balcony whereon the oath of office was 
administered to George Washington by Chancellor Liv- 
ingston in full view of the people. Due to the short no- 
tice and bad traveling conditions, there were only a few 
Congressmen present on March 4, 1789, and it was a 
month afterward before there was a quorum to transact 

In July, 1790, Congress decided that for the next 10 
years the seat of Government should be located at Phila- 
delphia. The executive officers moved to that city, and 
by December they were established in residence. George 
Washington lived at No. 190 High Street, near the 
southeast corner of Sixth Street, which house had been 
built by William Penn and in turn had been occupied 
by General Howe, Benedict Arnold and Robert Morris. 
Thomas Jefferson lived on the same street. 

It was while Congress was meeting in Philadelphia 
that the District of Columbia was settled upon as the 
permanent capital of the United States. On January 
24, 1791, the President sent a message to Congress stat- 
ing that "in mature consideration of the advantages and 
disadvantages of the several positions within the limits 
described" he had by proclamation on the same date 
directed commissioners to "survey and limit a part of 
the territory of the ten-mile square on both sides of the 
river Potomac so as to comprehend Georgetown in 
Maryland and extend to the Eastern Branch." 

When the removal of the seat of the Government 
from Philadelphia to the city of Washington was be- 

News Releases 501 

gun, more than one million dollars had been expended 
during the nine years of preparation and was apparently 
an event that attracted little attention. A few brief 
paragraphs in Philadelphia newspapers confined to an- 
nouncements about the change in address of mail mat- 
ter intended to reach the executive departments were 
practically all the contemporary notice given to the 

The newcomers arrived before all the work of prepa- 
ration had been completed. The new city's streets and 
parks existed on paper only. New arrivals saw gangs 
of laborers making the first improvements since the 
clearing away of the forest trees on what has become the 
most famous historic street in the country, the broad 
stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue west of the Capitol to 
the President's house. 

The Capitol had been begun, but the Executive Man- 
sion was unfinished and the wife of President Adams 
used the audience room as a drying room for clothes. 
Congress could hardly find lodgings and sanitary condi- 
tions were bad. 

President Adams came to the city on November 1, 
1880, and went at once to the partially finished Presi- 
dent's house. There were no bells in the house, a scarcity 
of firewood, and not a single apartment finished. 

Although the 17th of November was the date fixed 
upon for the meeting of Congress in the new city, when 
that day arrived a quorum of neither house was pres- 
ent. On the next day the House had a quorum, but 
the Senate did not have such a quota until the twenty- 
first. The following day the President met both Houses 

502 Washington Bicentennial 

in the Senate Chamber and read his message, thus open- 
ing the first formal meeting of Congress in the Nation's 
new capital. 

George Washington Was Interested in Orphans 

Perhaps no one ever felt more keenly than George 
Washington the need for relief measures designed to 
ameliorate the distressing circumstances of orphans and 
children of parents who were too poor to provide for 
their families. He was always especially interested in 
the creation of educational facilities for this class of 
people, and his life furnishes many examples of worthy 
efforts in this field. 

The Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, now completing plans for the celebration next 
year of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth 
of George Washington, which will begin on February 22 
and end on the following Thanksgiving Day, cites three 
instances of the first President's interest in and sym- 
pathy for orphans. His beneficence is nowhere better 
displayed than in this respect. 

Perhaps the most notable of George Washington's 
contributions to orphans and children of the poor was 
his endowment of the Alexandria Academy. This 
school was founded in his home town by himself and 
other public-spirited men who wished to give unfortu- 
nate children the opportunity of obtaining an educa- 
tion. Washington laid the corner stone of the academy 
in September, 1785. The building still stands and is 
used by the public-school system of Alexandria. 

Washington established a fund for the school, the 

News Releases 503 

interest only of which was to be used. His will provided 
for the permanent endowment of the institution in the 
bequest of 20 shares of stock in the Bank of Alexandria, 
then worth $4,000. At one time Washington main- 
tained in the school, in addition to the regular pupils, 
about 20 boys whose fathers had been killed in the 
Revolutionary War. 

In his diary for December 17, 1785, Washington 

"Went to Alexandria to meet the Trustees of the 
Academy at that place, and offered to vest in the hands 
of the said Trustees, when they are permanently estab- 
lished by Charter, the Sum of One Thousand pounds, 
the Interest of which only, to be applied towards the 
establishment of a charity School for the education of 
Orphan and other poor Children, which offer was 

During the first year of his initial term in the 
Presidency, Washington, then in New York City, wrote 
in his diary, November 22, 1789: "Went to St. Paul's 
Chapel in the forenoon — heard a charity sermon for the 
benefit of the Orphan's School of this city." 

Again, during his tour of the Southern States in the 
spring of 1791, he recorded a visit to the orphanage at 
Charleston, S. C. 

"Before Break (fast)," Washington wrote, "I visited 
the Orphan House at which there were one hundred 
and seven boys and girls. This appears to be a charitable 
institution and under good management." 

Never in his life did Washington turn a deaf ear 
toward the pleas which came from or in behalf of the 
orphans. He always responded to such requests for help 

504 Washington Bicentennial 

with whatever assistance he could render. His benev- 
olence no less than his spectacular achievements on the 
field of battle or in the chair of government mark him 
as one of the world's truly great. 

Washington Was Pioneer in Public Schools 

George Washington's foresight and clear thinking is, 
perhaps, nowhere more definitely shown than in his 
attitude toward education. 

Realizing the important part education must play 
in a Republic, he was a pioneer in the interests of uni- 
versal education, primary, secondary, and collegiate. It 
engaged his attention and constructive thought even in 
his will, fully six pages of that historic document being 
devoted to setting forth his ideas in regard to it. 

Immediately after the Revolutionary War the 
problem of education became acute, and in 1785 Wash- 
ington and some other public-spirited men established 
the Alexandria Academy in Alexandria, Va., for the 
free education of orphaned or poor children of that 
city, and on September 7, 1785, he laid the corner stone 
of a modest building with the aid of the Alexandria 
Lodge of Freemasons, of which he was a member. 

This school was one of the first free schools in 
America, and is today included in the school system of 
the State. 

The idea of establishing such a school was not a new 
one with Washington. It had first taken form in his 
mind as a school for the orphans of those men who had 
been killed in the Revolutionary War, and it was his 
intention to make a gift to help maintain a school for 
these children. With the establishment of the Alex- 

News Releases 505 

andria Academy, Washington thought that his purpose 
might best be served if he gave an endowment to that 
school and provided for its administration in behalf 
of the children who had first inspired his benevolence. 
He refers to this in his diary of December 17, 1785, as 

"Went to Alexandria to meet the trustees of the 
Academy in that place, and offered to vest in the hands 
of the said trustees, when they were permanently 
established by charter, the sum of £l,000, the interest 
of which was only to be applied towards the establish- 
ment of a charity school for the education of orphans 
and other poor children, which offer was accepted." 

Washington's interest in education is shown in many 
ways. His daily records of his acts, as found in his 
diaries, give concrete evidence of some of the things he 
did to further educational enterprises in his day. His 
library is a living testimony to his interest in education. 
His own example of self -education is an inspiration to 
every youth and adult alike. 

The following appears in Washington's Diaries under 
date of July 25, 1769: 

"At home all day writing Letters and Invoices for 
England." Research shows that, "A long letter and 
several invoices of goods needed were written to Robert 
Cary & Co., London. Among the usual supplies for 
the plantation was included a rather formidable list of 
books for Master Custis, which included Greek and 
Latin classics as well as text books of geography, mathe- 
matics, and history." 

Here are other extracts from his Diaries which refer 
to education: 

506 Washington Bicentennial 

"Wednesday, 31st, [Aug. 1785]. This day I told 
Doctr. Craik that I would contribute one hundred 
Dollars pr. ann. as long as it was necessary towards the 
Education of His Son, George Washington, either in 
this Country or in Scotland." 

It is further shown that Washington contributed to 
the education of several children of his various friends. 
Thomas Posey, son of a neighbor, was one of these. 

"Tuesday, 21st, [Feb. 1786]. A Mr. McPherson, of 
Alexandria, came and returned before dinner. His 
business was, to communicate the desires of a Neigh- 
bourhood in Berkeley County, to build a School and 
Meeting House on some Land of mine there, leased to 
one [ ]. My answer was, that if the tenant's 

consent could be obtained, and the spot chosen was upon 
the exterior of my Land, so as that no damage would 
result from Roads, etca., to it, mine should not be 

"Monday, 13th, [Nov. 1786]. Agreed to let the 
Widow Alton have the House used for a School by my 
Mill, if the school should be discontinued; . . ." 

Washington's library was outstanding in the number 
of volumes on education, such as: "Chesterfield's Let- 
ters," "Graham on Education," Locke on "Human Un- 
derstanding," Seneca's "Morals," and Chapman on "Edu- 
cation." When the last-named book was received by 
Washington, he wrote the author: "My sentiments are 
perfectly in unison with yours, Sir, that the best means 
of forming a manly, virtuous and happy people will be 
found in the right education of youth — without this 
foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must 

News Releases 507 

Washington was a careful reader of the best current 
literature of his time and subscribed to the new books 
and periodicals. He wrote a Philadelphia publisher, 
Mathew Carey, in 1788: "I entertain a high idea of 
the utility of periodical publications; insomuch that I 
could heartily desire copies of the Museum and Maga- 
zines, as well as common Gazettes, might be spread 
through every city, town and village in America. I 
consider such easy vehicles of knowledge more happily 
calculated than any other to preserve the liberty, stimu- 
late the industry, and meliorate the morals of an enlight- 
ened and free people." 

In his will he made a number of bequests for 
education as the following abstracts show: 

"Item. — To the trustees ... of the Academy in the 
town of Alexandria, I give and bequeath, in trust, four 
thousand dollars, or in other words, twenty of the 
shares which I hold in the bank of Alexandria, towards 
the support of a free school, established at and annexed 
to, the said Academy. . . ." 

"Item. — I give and bequeath, in perpetuity, the fifty 
shares which I hold in the Potomac company . . . towards 
the endowment of a University, to be established within 
the limits of the district of Columbia, under the auspices 
of the general government, if that government should 
incline to extend a fostering hand toward it." 

"Item. — The hundred shares which I hold in the 
James River Company, I have given and now confirm 
in perpetuity, to and for the use and benefit of Liberty 
Hall Academy, in the County of Rockbridge in the 
Commonwealth of Virginia." 

Thus it will be seen that Washington was a patron 

508 Washington Bicentennial 

of education in a most material way, and the encour- 
agement he gave to it during his lifetime and the gen- 
erous gifts he left at his death should be an example 
and stimulation for all American educators of today. 

Washington's Belief in a Supreme Being 

Occasionally statements are made that George 
Washington was not a religious man. Such statements, 
usually emanating from obscure sources, are easily re- 
futed by reading Washington's own writings, according 
to the Division of Information and Publication of the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial 

George Washington was reared in a religious home. 
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when 
he is old, he will not depart from it," was an injunction 
believed in and practiced by the parents of our first 

John Marshall, the great Chief Justice of the United 
States, said of Washington: "Without making ostenta- 
tious professions of religion, he was a sincere believer in 
the Christian faith, and truly a devout man." 

At the age of 22, Washington, in a letter to Governor 
Dinwiddie, of Virginia, dated at Great Meadows, said: 
"We have been six days without flour, and there is none 
upon the road for our relief that we know of. We have 
not provisions of any sort enough in camp to serve us 
two days. Once before we would have been four days 
without provisions, if Providence had not sent a trader 
from the Ohio to our relief." 

All through his illustrious life Washington referred 

News Releases 509 

to the providence of God. In a letter to his brother, 
written a few days after Braddock's defeat, he said: 

"By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence I 
have been protected beyond all human probability, or 
expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, 
and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, al- 
though death was levelling my companions on every side 
of me." 

In a letter to Governor Trumbull, of Connecticut, 
in 1775, he said: 

"As the cause of our common country calls us both 
to an active and dangerous duty, I trust that Divine 
Providence, which wisely orders the affairs of men, will 
enable us to discharge it with fidelity and success." 

About the same time he wrote General Gage, of the 
British Army, in answer to a letter from him: "May 
that God, to whom you then appealed, judge between 
America and you. Under his providence, those who 
influence the councils of America, and all the other 
inhabitants of the United Colonies, at the hazard of 
their lives, are determined to hand down to posterity 
those just and invaluable privileges, which they received 
from their ancestors." 

In a circular to his officers in 1775, Washington said: 
"* * * The success of such an enterprise depends, 
I well know, upon the All-Wise Disposer of events, and 
it is not within the reach of human wisdom to foretell 
the issue." 

A letter to Joseph Reed January, 1776, reads: 
"* * * How it will end, God, in His great good- 
ness, will direct. I am thankful for His protection to 
this time." 

510 Washington Bicentennial 

During the same month he wrote General Schuyler: 
«* * * That the Supreme Disposer of every good 
may bestow health, strength, and spirit, on you and your 
army, is the fervent wish of your most affectionate and 
obedient servant." 

Replying to a communication from the General 
Assembly of Massachusetts, after the evacuation of 
Boston, he said: M * * * May that Being, who is 
powerful to save, and in whose hands is the fate of 
nations, look down with an eye of tender pity and 
compassion upon the whole of the United Colonies; may 
He continue to smile upon their councils and arms, and 
crown them with success, whilst employed in the cause 
of virtue and mankind. May this distressed colony 
and its capital, and every part of this wide extended 
continent, through His divine favor, be restored to more 
than their former lustre and once happy state, and have 
peace, liberty, and safety secured upon a solid, perma- 
nent, and lasting foundation." 

In expectation of an attack by the combined British 
forces, Washington, on July 2, 1776, issued the follow- 
ing order: "The time is now near at hand which must 
probably determine, whether Americans are to be Free- 
men, or Slaves, whether they are to have any property 
they can call their own, whether their Houses, and 
Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they con- 
signed to a state of wretchedness from which no human 
efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of un- 
known millions will now depend, under God, on the 
Courage and Conduct of this Army. Our cruel and 
unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave re- 
sistance, or the most Abject Submission; this is all we 

News Releases 511 

can expect — We have therefore to resolve to conquer or 
die. Our own Country's Honor, All call upon us for a 
vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully 
fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world — Let 
us therefore rely upon the goodness of the cause, and 
the Aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory 
is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble 

From Morris town, N. J., July 4, 1777, he wrote to 
General Armstrong: "The evacuation of Jersey at this 
time is a peculiar mark of Providence as the inhabitants 
have an opportunity of securing their harvests of hay 
and grain, the latter of which would, in all probability, 
have undergone the same fate with many farm houses, 
had it been ripe enough to take fire. The distress of 
many of the inhabitants, who were plundered not only 
of their effects, but of their provisions of every kind, 
was such that I sent down wagonloads of meat and flour 
to supply their present wants." 

Commenting on the surrender of Burgoyne, he wrote: 
"Should Providence be pleased to crown our arms in the 
course of the campaign with one more fortunate stroke, 
I think we shall have no great cause for anxiety respect- 
ing the future designs of Britain. I trust all will be well 
in His good time." 

Writing to Landon Carter, of Virginia, he uttered 
this trusting prophecy: "I flatter myself that a Superin- 
tending Providence is ordering everything for the best — 
and that, in due time, all will end well." 

Valley Forge, May 30, 1778, was the date line of a 
letter which read: "To paint the distresses and perilous 
situation of this army in the course of last winter, for 

512 Washington Bicentennial 

want of cloaths, provisions, and almost every other nec- 
essary, essential to the well-being, (I may say existence,) 
of an army, would require more time and an abler pen 
than mine; nor, since our prospects have so miraculously 
brightened, shall I attempt it, or even bear it in remem- 
brance, further than as a memento of what is due to the 
great Author of all the care and good, that have been 
extended in relieving us in difficulties and distress." 

To Benjamin Harrison, Virginia, December 30, 1778, 
he wrote: 

"Providence has heretofore taken me up when all 
other means and hope seemed to be departing from me 
in this." 

In acknowledging the congratulations of the Conti- 
nental Congress on his success at Yorktown, Washing- 
ton said: "I take particular pleasure in acknowledging, 
that the interposing hand of Heaven, in the various in- 
stances of our extensive preparations for this operation, 
has been most conspicuous and remarkable." 

In his farewell address to the armies of the United 
States, the old warrior said: "A contemplation of the 
complete attainment (at a period earlier than could have 
been expected) of the object, for which we contended 
against so formidable a power, cannot but inspire us 
with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous 
circumstances on our part, under which the war was 
undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular in- 
terpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were 
such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most 

Washington was inaugurated President of the United 

News Releases 513 

States, April 30, 1789. In his inaugural address made 
in New York, he said, among other things: 

"Such being the impressions under which I have, in 
obedience to the public summons, repaired to the pres- 
ent station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, 
in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that 
Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who pre- 
sides in the councils of nations, and whose providential 
aids can supply every human defect, that his benedic- 
tion may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the 
people of the United States a government instituted 
by themselves for these essential purposes, and may en- 
able every instrument employed in its administration, to 
execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. 
In tendering this homage to the great Author of every 
public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses 
your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my 
fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can 
be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, 
which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people 
of the United States. Every step, by which they have 
advanced to the character of an independent nation, 
seems to have been distinguished by some token of provi- 
dential agency. And, in the important revolution just 
accomplished in the system of their united government, 
the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so 
many distinct communities, from which the event has 
resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which 
most governments have been established, without some 
return of pious gratitude, along with an humble antici- 
pation of the future blessings which the past seem to 
presage. These reflections, arising out of the present 

514 Washington Bicentennial 

crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind 
to be suppressed. * * * 

"Having thus imparted to you my sentiments, as they 
have been awakened by the occasion which brings us 
together, I shall take my present leave; but not without 
resorting once more to the benign Parent of the human 
race, in humble supplication, that, since he has been 
pleased to favor the American people with opportuni- 
ties for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispo- 
sitions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a 
form of government for the security of their union, 
and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine 
blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged 
views, the temperate consultations, and the wise meas- 
ures, on which the success of this government must 

Washington's Religious Attitude 

As a boy, George Washington probably thought as 
much about religion as did the average normal, healthy 
boy of that age. As he grew older, he steadily devel- 
oped a deeply religious turn of mind, according to the 
Division of Information and Publication of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

At the age of 23 he counted the bullet holes in his 
coat after Braddock's defeat, and acknowledged, with 
common-sense practicality, that a power higher than 
man had saved him. The Revolutionary War taught 
him lessons he was too honest to deny, and, as a result, 
Washington's belief in God became the simple faith of 
a child, confirmed and strengthened by the actual living 
experience of a man. 

News Releases 515 

The personal record of church attendance, his 
estimate of the value of religious practices among the 
people at large, his desire and effort to encourage and 
to inculcate in the people a spirit of gratitude toward 
the Deity, and his own expressions of opinion respecting 
God give concrete evidence of his faith. 

His religious record practically starts with the time 
when he was commanding the Virginia troops on the 
western frontier after Braddock's defeat. At Fort 
Loudoun, Winchester, at the age of 24, this colonel of 
Virginia militia, on Saturday, September 18, 1756, or- 
dered that "the men parade tomorrow morning at beat- 
ing the long roll, with their arms and ammunitions 
clean and in good order, and to be marched by the 
Sergeants of the respective companies to the Fort, there 
to remain until prayers are over." 

After his marriage, Washington attended Pohick 
Church, at Pohick, Va., and later Christ Church, Alex- 
andria, Va. Both churches were distant from Mount 
Vernon, so that it was something of a journey to reach 
them by coach. An important point established by a 
close check-up of Washington's church attendance is 
that throughout his public life, in times of political stress 
and strain, he went to church of tener than he did in 
times of national calm and quiet. 

On October 19, 1765, there is record of his taking 
the oath to conform to the doctrine and discipline of 
the Church of England "as by law established," and 
during the year 1774, when political relations with the 
mother country were becoming dangerously strained, 
and no one in the Colonies was able to foresee the out- 
come, he went to church twice and sometimes three 

516 Washington Bicentennial 

times a month. It was on June 1, 1774, the day the 
Boston Port Bill went into effect, that he "went to 
church and fasted all day." 

In the hectic days of the outbreak of the Revolu- 
tionary War, Washington, in the letter to his wife, 
stated that he "relied confidently on that providence 
which has heretofore preserved and been bountiful 
to me." 

In the manly speech with which he accepted the 
appointment of Commander in Chief of the Army he 
made no reference to God or to heaven; but one month 
after taking command of the army the matter of pray- 
ers and church service appears in the general orders for 
August 5, 1775, at Cambridge. These orders directed 
that "the Church be cleaned tomorrow and the Revd. 
Mr. Doyle will perform Divine Service therein at ten 

Then comes a personal note of soul humility in his 
letter to Joseph Reed in January, 1776: "I have 
scarcely emerged from one difficulty," wrote Washing- 
ton, "before I have plunged into another. How it will 
end, God in His great goodness will direct. I am thank- 
ful for His protection to this time." One thing that 
speedily became clear in the mind of George Washing- 
ton was that the military and governmental difficulties 
of America were not, and could not, be properly met 
without the help of God. They were too great, and 
America was too feeble, in Washington's judgment, to 
admit of their successful solution without help from 
on high, and certainly the verdict of history as to the 
magnitude of these difficulties has confirmed Washing- 
ton's political judgment. And, also, instead of becom- 

News Releases 517 

ing opinionated, instead of developing an ego, instead 
of becoming confident of his abilities, as he succeeded 
in surmounting one difficulty after another, George 
Washington became more and more convinced that the 
hand of God was in those triumphs, and greater and 
greater became his spiritual humility. 

This humility in success and willingness to accept 
failure without complaint is exemplified at the end of 
the siege of Boston. The seizure and fortification of 
Dorchester Heights are recalled, and how the British 
prepared for another Bunker Hill, for they attempted 
to cross the bay in order to storm the works, and Bunker 
Hill would have been child's play to the slaughter that 
would have ensued. It is also recalled that the red coats 
were prevented from crossing the water by a sudden 
and violent storm, which lasted so long that by the 
time it was over Howe felt that the works had become 
too strong for him, gave over the attempt, and evacuated 
the town. Here is Washington's comment to his 
brother, John, on the occurrence: "That this remark- 
able interposition of Providence is for some wise pur- 
pose, I have not a doubt." And this was rather an ex- 
traordinary thing to say, for with the preparations made, 
all contingencies provided for, and with a sufficiency of 
ammunition, none of which things were present at the 
affair of Bunker Hill, it is quite reasonable to assume 
that Howe's attempt would have resulted in the com- 
plete annihilation of the British Army. 

The setting up of the actual machinery of religion 
in the Continental Army is important as a part of 
Washington's religious record. The Congress author- 
ized the employment of chaplains, after Washington 

518 Washington Bicentennial 

had urged it, and the general orders of July 9, 1776, 
when the army was in New York City, directed: "That 
Colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are 
directed to procure for Chaplains accordingly, persons 
of good character and exemplary lives. To see that all 
inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect 
and attend carefully upon religious exercises. The bless- 
ing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary, 
but especially so in times of public distress and danger. 
The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man 
will endeavor so to live and act as becomes a Christian 
Soldier defending the dearest rights and Liberties of 
his country." 

In January, 1777, the Continental Army for the first 
time since the siege of Boston, established a permanent 
encampment base. This was at Morristown, N. J., and 
among the early things attended to was the practice of 
regular Sunday worship for the troops. On April 12, a 
Saturday, it was ordered that "All the troops in Morris- 
town except the guards, are to attend divine worship 
tomorrow at the second Bell; the Officers commanding 
the Corps, are to take special care to have their men 
clean and decent, and that they are to march in proper 
order to the place of worship." Next week it was or- 
dered: "All the troops in town (not on duty) to attend 
divine service tomorrow agreeable to the orders of the 
12th instant." The convenience of a church building 
was an element in Morristown and the army paid due 
observance to Sunday. It may be noted, however, that 
only the troops in the town itself were ordered to 
church, for no building would have been large enough 
to hold the army encamped in the vicinity. 

News Releases 519 

When the encampment was shifted to Middlebrook, 
the well-known order against profanity was issued on 
May 31. Washington characterized it as the "foolish 
and scandalous practice of profane swearing," and 
added: "As a means to abolish this and every other 
species of immorality Brigadiers are enjoyned to take 
effectual care, to have divine service duly performed 
in their respective brigades." At Middlebrook, also, on 
June 28, the orders were as follows: "All Chaplains are 
to perform divine service tomorrow and on every suc- 
ceeding Sunday, with their respective brigades and regi- 
ments, where the situation will possibly admit of it. 
And the Commanding officers of corps are to see that 
they attend themselves with officers of all ranks setting 
the example. The Commander in chief expects an 
exact compliance with this order, and that it be ob- 
served in the future as an invariable rule of practice. 
And every neglect will be considered not only as a 
breach of orders, but a disregard to decency, virtue and 

On the day .after the surrender of Cornwallis, 
October 20, 1781, Washington's greatest military 
triumph of the war, he issued this order: "Divine serv- 
ice is to be performed tomorrow in the several brigades 
and divisions. The Commander-in-Chief earnestly rec- 
ommends that the troops not on duty should univer- 
sally attend with that seriousness of deportment and 
gratitude of heart which the recognition of such reiter- 
ated and astonishing interpositions of Providence 
demands of us." 

Here are Washington's words on the connection 
between religion and government as taken from his 

520 Washington Bicentennial 

Farewell Address: "Morality is a necessary spring of 
popular government ... let us with caution indulge 
the supposition, that morality can be maintained with- 
out religion. Whatever may be conceded to the in- 
fluence of refined education on minds of peculiar struc- 
ture, reason and experience both forbid us to expect 
that national morality can prevail in exclusion of 
religious principle." 

On his deathbed, after nearly 24 hours of struggle 
for breath, he placed the final seal of courageous man- 
hood upon his life and went to his Maker with his brave 
faith unshaken. "I felt from the first," he whispered, 
"that the disorder would prove fatal . . . but I am not 
afraid to go." 

Washington Worshiped in 34 Churches 

With the churches of America, of every denomina- 
tion, preparing to take a leading part in the George 
Washington Bicentennial Celebration in 1932, it is re- 
called that George Washington attended services in at 
least 34 different churches of various denominations, ac- 
cording to a research just completed by the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission. 
He was exceptionally broadminded as to sectarian views, 
attending with equal reverence the services in the Dutch, 
Catholic, Quaker, Presbyterian and Congregational 
faith as well as his own, the Episcopalian. 

Every crisis in Washington's life found him turning 
to Divine Providence for help and guidance, and in 
thankfulness for the benefits he had received. He ex- 
pressed, on numerous occasions in his diary his thank- 
fulness for success in military exploits, and for preser- 

News Releases 521 

vation from disaster. He attended church services 
wherever he happened to be, unless he was prevented 
from doing so by the press of official duties or by bad 
weather and worse roads. 

As vestryman, church warden and trustee, he ren- 
dered many practical services to the four churches in 
the parish of Truro. These were Pohick, Falls Church, 
Payne's Church and Christ Church, Alexandria, all in 
Virginia. His duties as vestryman were faithfully and 
conscientiously discharged. He made surveys, drew 
plans, interested himself in building estimates and costs, 
in church design, location and equipment. He attended 
23 vestry meetings in 11 years and missed eight due to 
illness or absence from the vicinity. 

Beginning in 1785 he was a worshipper at Christ 
Church, Alexandria, where he bought a large family 
pew the day the church was turned over to the vestry. 

During his 16 years as a member of the House of 
Burgesses, he attended divine services with Mrs. Wash- 
ington and the family chiefly at Pohick Church, and 
Christ Church, Alexandria. When in Williamsburg, 
Va., during the sessions of the Burgesses, he attended 
Bruton Church, and sometimes went to St. Peter's at 
New Kent with Mrs. Washington. 

When visiting his mother, and his sister, Mrs. Fielding 
Lewis, at Fredericksburg, Va., he attended St. George's 
Church principally, as it was a church of tender memo- 
ries through childhood. His father had been vestryman 
and his parents and family had always been regular at- 
tendants. His wife's father and, later on, other of his 
relatives were buried in the churchyard. 

Among other churches of Virginia attended by Gen- 

522 Washington Bicentennial 

eral Washington at various periods during both public 
and private life were: St. John's, at Richmond, where 
he also went to listen to the fiery oration of Patrick 
Henry; Yeocomico Church, the home church of his 
mother and known to her from childhood; Lamb's 
Creek Church, and St. Paul's of King George County; 
and Nomini of Westmoreland County, in addition to 
the four in Truro Parish. 

During the frequent visits to Annapolis, Md., he at- 
tended the services conducted by the Rev. Jonathan 
Boucher, who was a tutor for a time to Jacky Custis, 
and at times worshiped at St. John's, Broad Creek, Md. 

While President of the United States, during the time 
he lived in New York, he and the family seemed to di- 
vide their time between St. Paul's Church and Trinity, 
both Episcopal. 

During his travels through New England, which he 
started on October 15, 1789, he not only attended 
church whenever possible, but he noted in his diary the 
churches in the towns he visited. For example, of Stam- 
ford, Conn., he wrote: 

"In this town are an Episcopal Church and a meet- 
ing house. At Norwalk, which is 10 miles further, we 
made a halt to feed our horses. To the lower end of 
this town sea vessels come, and at the other end are mills, 
stores, and an Episcopal and Presbyterian Church." He 
also recorded of Fairfield: "two decent looking churches 
in this place, though small vis: and Episcopal and Pres- 
byterian or Congregationalist as they call themselves." 

While in New Haven he attended, October 18, 1789, 
two churches, Trinity, Episcopal, in the forenoon, and 
in the afternoon one of the Congregational Meeting 

News Releases 523 

Houses. During this visit and his previous stay in this 
section during the Revolutionary War, he attended 
Queen Chaple of St. John's at Portsmouth; Trinity 
Church, and Christ Church, Boston; Christ Church, 
Cambridge; Trinity Church, Newport, and St. Michael's 
Church, Litchfield. 

General Washington's deep regard for church edifices, 
no matter how humble, was shown during the war when 
passing through Litchfield, he reprimanded some soldiers 
who had thrown stones at the Old Litchfield Church, 
by saying: "I am a churchman, and wish not to see the 
church dishonored and desolated in this manner." 

During his Presidency while living in Philadelphia, 
he attended Christ Church and St. Peter's, and also at- 
tended St. John's in York, Pa. 

While on his famous Southern tour he noted the 
churches, as well as the factories, all industries, schools 
and other contributing elements in the communities 
through which he passed or where he stopped. The prin- 
cipal churches which have found definite mention in 
his own record at attending Divine Service on this re- 
markable journey of 1,187 miles were St. Philip's and 
St. Michael's Church, in Charleston, S. C, and Christ 
Church, in Savannah, Ga. 

Frequent references are made by him in his corre- 
spondence as having gone to church without the desig- 
nation of the specific church being made. Thus while 
research has disclosed his presence at service on Sundays 
in 34 different churches, it is believed that the interest 
aroused in all of General Washington's movements by 
the United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission in its plans for the coming celebration in 

524 Washington Bicentennial 

1932 will bring to light authentic proof of other 
churches in which he worshiped at different periods 
during his busy life. 

George Washington's Advice to A Young Lady 

Senator Simeon D. Fess, of Ohio, who is the vice chair- 
man of the United States Commission for the Celebra- 
tion of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of 
George Washington, has long been a student of the writ- 
ings of our first President. He has read practically 
everything written by that great man. When asked 
what he considered the most interesting letter Washing- 
ton ever wrote, the Senator smiled for a moment and 

"That is a difficult question to answer. Practically 
every letter he wrote was interesting. But the one he 
wrote to Harriot Washington, his niece, has always ap- 
pealed to me. You must remember that when Wash- 
ington took the time to write that kindly letter of ad- 
vice he was serving as President of the struggling young 
Republic and had more serious problems on his hands 
than any man in the country. I wish that every young 
woman in our fair land would read it. It is full of ex- 
cellent advice, that has a present-day appeal." 

The famous letter to which the Senator referred reads 
as follows: 

"Philadelphia, 30 October, 1791. 
"Dear Harriot, 

"I have received your letter of the 21st instant, and 
shall always be glad to hear from you. When my business 
will permit, inclination will not be wanting in me to 

News Releases 525 

acknowledge the receipt of your letters; and this I shall 
do more cheerfully, as it will afford me opportunities 
at those times of giving you such occasional advice, as 
your situation may require. 

"At present I could plead a better excuse for cur- 
tailing my letter to you, than you had for shortening 
of yours to me, having a multitude of occupations 
before me, while you have nothing to do; consequently 
you might with equal convenience to yourself have sat 
down to write your letter an hour or two or even a day 
sooner, as to have delayed it until your cousin was on 
the point of sending to the post-office. I make this 
remark for no other reason, than to show you it is better 
to offer no excuse than a bad one, if at any time you 
should happen to fall into an error. 

"Occupied as my time now is, and must be during 
the sitting of Congress, I nevertheless will endeavor to 
inculcate upon your mind the delicacy and danger of 
that period, to which you are now arrived under 
peculiar circumstances. You are just entering into the 
state of womanhood, without the watchful eye of a 
mother to admonish, or the protecting aid of a father to 
advise and defend you; you may not be sensible, that 
you are at this moment about to be stamped with that 
character, which will adhere to you through life; the 
consequences of which you have not perhaps attended 
to, but be assured it is of the utmost importance that 
you should. 

"Your cousins, with whom you live, are well qualified 
to give you advice; and I am sure they will, if you are 
disposed to receive it. But, if you are disobliging, self- 
willed, and untowardly, it is hardly to be expected that 

526 Washington Bicentennial 

they will engage themselves in unpleasant disputes with 
you, especially Fanny, whose mild and placid temper 
will not permit her to exceed the limits of wholesome 
admonition or gentle rebuke. Think, then, to what 
dangers a giddy girl of fifteen or sixteen must be exposed 
in circumstances like these. To be under but little or 
no control may be pleasing to a mind that does not 
reflect, but this pleasure cannot be of long duration; 
and reason, too late perhaps, may convince you of the 
folly of misspending time. You are not to learn, I 
am certain, that your fortune is small. Supply the want 
of it, then, with a well cultivated mind, with dispositions 
to industry and frugality, with gentleness of manners, 
obliging temper, and such qualifications as will attract 
notice, and recommend you to a happy establishment 
for life. 

"You might, instead of associating with those from 
whom you can derive nothing that is good, but may 
have observed everything that is deceitful, lying, and 
bad, become the intimate companion of, and aid to, your 
cousin in the domestic concerns of the family. Many 
girls, before they have arrived at your age, have been 
found so trustworthy as to take the whole trouble of 
a family from their mothers; but it is by a steady and 
rigid attention to the rules of propriety, that such con- 
fidence is obtained, and nothing would give me more 
pleasure than to hear that you had acquired it. The 
merits and benefits of it would redound more to your 
advantage in your progress through life, and to the 
person with whom you may in due time form a matri- 
monial connexion, than to any others; but to none would 

News Releases 527 

such a circumstance afford more real satisfaction, than 
to your affectionate uncle." 

George Washington, Road Builder 

One more tribute to the many-sided character and 
solid achievements of George Washington will be paid 
by delegates from 62 nations, Colonies, and dependencies 
throughout the world, including also representation 
from the League of Nations, who will assemble in Wash- 
ington, D. C, on October 6 to hold the Sixth Session 
of the Permanent International Association of Road 
Congresses and the first World Highway Congress to 
be held on the Western Hemisphere. 

The tribute to George Washington as a road builder 
will take the form of an inspection trip over the Wash- 
ington Memorial Highway, now under construction be- 
tween the Capital City which bears his illustrious name 
and his beloved Mount Vernon. The trip will include 
a visit to Mount Vernon and the Washington Tomb. 

It is remarkable, indeed, says a statement from the 
United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, in how many ways the founder of the Ameri- 
can Republic ranks first. In the matter of roads, we 
know that he began making land surveys at the age of 
16, but it is not so well known that he was among the 
first to visualize and have connection with the general 
route which later became the great highway called the 
National Pike, or the National Old Trails Road, which 
is one of the most extensively used transcontinental 
routes today, and is embraced as No. 30 in the United 
States Highway System. 

During all of his travels in laying a permanent 

528 Washington Bicentennial 

foundation for our country, the eyes of Washington 
often turned prophetically toward the West, and he 
used to refer to roads as "the channels of conveyance of 
the versatile and valuable trade of a rising empire." 
The National Road, utilizing sections of roads laid out 
by the first engineer President of the United States, has 
been in nation-building service for considerably more 
than a century, and entitles him to take high rank 
among the first civil engineers of America. 

A box of Washington's surveying instruments is said 
to be now in possession of the Department of Educa- 
tion, State of New York, on which appears a pen- 
written statement as follows: 

"The instruments contained in this box together with 
a case of protracting instruments in a shagreen case, 
two surveyors' chains and the wooden pins used with 
the same, were the property of General Washington, 
and used by him when a very young man. 

"These instruments descended to my father, Colonel 
William A. Washington (the General's oldest nephew), 
and from him to me, and by me presented to my son, 
Lewis W. Washington, February 10, 1854. 

"(Signed) G. C. Washington. 

"Georgetown, D. C., February 10, 1854. 

"This box contained compass, various instruments all 
of brass, surveyor's tripod, measuring iron chains and 
six oak marking pins." 

George Washington was not only a great general and 
a great statesman, but he was a great road builder in 
the sense that his plans, though perhaps not visualized in 
blue print, reached far into the future. In roads as in 
statecraft, and in so many other ways, we are only just 

News Releases 529 

now beginning to touch the depths of his practical 
wisdom, and it is eminently fitting that delegates to the 
forthcoming World Highway Congress should pay 
homage at his tomb. 

Painters and Paintings of George Washington 

For the past 130 years artists, critics and historians 
have been interested in this question: which of the nu- 
merous paintings of George Washington, executed by 
his contemporaries, bears the closest resemblance to the 
man himself? This question has recently been revived 
with the appointment by the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission of a Portrait 
Committee, for the express purpose of deciding on the 
best picture. As this committee is expected to arrive 
at a decision in the fall, and because of the eminence 
of the members, the whole country is anxiously looking 
forward to its selection. Will they decide on the popu- 
lar Athenaeum picture by Gilbert Stuart? Will Rem- 
brandt Peale receive the award? Will it be the picture 
of Edward Savage, John Trumbull or Charles Willson 
Peale? Will a "dark horse" win? Each artist has his 
devoted followers. Everybody is waiting for the de- 
cision of the Portrait Committee. 

Washington sacrificed much of his time sitting for 
painters. It can safely be said that there have been some 
150 portraits of Washington, taken from life and repli- 
cas made by the original artists. More than 20 artists 
worked on this subject. In those days, photography was 
an unknown art. An artist had to produce quantity 
as well as quality. If a man made a good picture of a 
distinguished person, requests were made for likenesses 

530 Washington Bicentennial 

or replicas from that person's friends. The rates varied 
with the eminence of the artist. For in those days, por- 
traiture combined the commercial with the artistic. It 
is alleged that Rembrandt Peale made 39 copies of his 
father's (Charles Willson Peale) pictures, and 79 of his 

Painting was in its infancy in America in Washing- 
ton's time. The two best known American artists were 
John Singleton Copley, of Boston, and Benjamin West, a 
transplanted American, living in London. While neither 
of these artists ever painted Washington, their influence 
on Washington's portraits is in evidence. Practically 
all the American artists who painted Washington studied 
with either Copley or West or with both. 

In view of the approaching decision of the Portrait 
Committee and in view of the heated discussion now 
being waged by art critics throughout the country, the 
associate directors of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission, Representative Sol 
Bloom, of New York, and Lieut. Col. U. S. Grant 3d, 
thought it advisable to present, in sketchy form, the 
stories of the men who painted these pictures, and the 
circumstances surrounding each. 

The heretofore most popular painting of Washing- 
ton is the one known as the "Athenaeum Portrait" exe- 
cuted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796, only three years before 
the General's death. 

Stuart was born in Narragansett, R. I., on December 
3, 1755. He received his first instructions in painting 
from Cosmo Alexander, a Scotchman living in America. 
When Alexander was ready to return to Edinburgh he 
took Stuart, then 18 years of age, with him. Alexander 

News Releases 531 

soon died and Stuart returned to America, where he 
painted pictures in Newport and Boston. 

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Stuart 
moved to London where, like so many of his American 
contemporaries, he received kindly assistance and en- 
couragement from Benjamin West. Soon Stuart was 
doing very well in London, but his desire to paint a por- 
trait of George Washington was uppermost and so he 
again returned to America. 

Stuart made three, now famous, pictures of Wash- 
ington. The first was executed in September of 1795. 
This picture, however, was not to Stuart's liking. It 
eventually found its way into the hands of Samuel 
Vaughan, of London, and has since been known as the 
"Vaughan Painting" of Washington. 

On April 12, 1796, at the request of the famous 
beauty, Mrs. Bingham, Washington again consented to 
sit for Stuart. This picture, a full-length portrait, was 
made for the Marquis of Lansdowne, and has since been 
known as the "Lansdowne Portrait." Stuart, however, 
was still not satisfied. 

Stuart had his third opportunity the same year when 
Washington personally commissioned him to paint the 
pictures of both Mrs. Washington and himself. The 
picture of the General satisfied Stuart, so much so that 
he hated to part with it. He purposely left the back- 
ground unfinished so that he could make copies before 
presenting the original to Washington. Washington, 
somewhat impatient, informed Stuart that he would ac- 
cept a copy rather than wait so long for the completion 
of the original. So the original treasure remained with 

532 Washington Bicentennial 

Stuart and upon his death, on July 27, 1828, it came 
into the possession of his wife. 

In October, 1831, this picture was sold by his widow 
for $1,500 to the Washington Association of Boston and 
was in turn presented to the Boston Athenaeum, where 
it is still housed. This is the picture which is known 
throughout the world as the "Athenaeum Portrait" of 
George Washington. It can unqualifiedly be said that 
this portrait is and always has been the best known and 
most popular painting of George Washington. 

The first painting of George Washington was made 
in 1772 by Charles Willson Peale. The elder Peale was 
one of the most colorful of all Colonial artists. Peale 
was born in Chestertown, Md., on April 15, 1741. As 
a boy he was apprenticed to a saddler. When he reached 
2 1 years of age, he went into business for himself, com- 
bining with "saddling," coach making, clock and watch 
making, silversmithing and dentistry. Soon he gave up 
the whole repertoire for painting. 

He visited the renowned Copley, in Boston, and in the 
summer of 1768 he arrived in London, where he studied 
with Benjamin West for the next year. Upon his re- 
turn to the States in June, 1770, he settled in Mary- 
land, executing portraits in Annapolis and Baltimore. 
Soon Peale achieved a reputation which, at any rate, 
reached as far as Mount Vernon. For in May of 1772, 
we find Peale at Washington's home working on a three- 
quarter-length portrait of George Washington, dressed 
in the uniform of a colonel of the Virginia Militia. 

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Charles 
Willson Peale joined the American Army as a captain 
of volunteers. During the war his easel was as impor- 

News Releases 533 

tant as his rifle, for he executed many pictures between 
battles. In the summer of 1776 he painted a half-length 
portrait of Washington for John Hancock; in 1777 he 
did a miniature for Mrs. Washington; in 1778 he started 
another portrait at Valley Forge which was finally com- 
pleted at Philadelphia; in 1778 he did another miniature, 
this one for Lafayette; and in 1778-79 he painted a full- 
length portrait of the General for the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. Peale painted his last picture of Washington in 
1795, which portrait now hangs in the gallery of the 
New York Historical Society. This prolific artist died 
in Philadelphia on February 22, 1827. 

The Peale family is famous in relation to Washing- 
ton's portraits. Not only did Charles Willson Peale and 
his brother James work on the subject, but also his son, 
Rembrandt Peale. It is generally maintained that the 
son excelled both the father and the uncle as an artist. 

Rembrandt Peale, the second son of Charles Willson 
Peale, was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1778. 
Naturally he grew up with a great reverence for the 
General. At eight, he stood behind his father's chair 
while Peale senior was painting Washington. That Rem- 
brandt Peale soon developed a controlling desire to paint 
his hero himself was only normal. 

At the request of the elder Peale, Washington con- 
sented to sit for his son in September, of 1795. So nerv- 
ous was Rembrandt — he was then a mere boy — that his 
father went with him and painted a picture of the Gen- 
eral at the same time. On the other side of Rembrandt 
was his uncle James, who was executing a miniature. 
This experience of sitting for three artists at one time 

534 Washington Bicentennial 

led to the alleged remark by the sitter that he was being 
"Peeled" from all sides. 

While Rembrandt Peale's picture gained some popu- 
larity — ten copies were sold in Charleston alone — it did 
not satisfy the artist. Nor was he satisfied with any 
other existing portraits of Washington. That Rem- 
brandt Peale's taste was higher than the average is evi- 
denced by this remark: "I had made during several years, 
sixteen of these attempts and tho' not equal to my own 
expectation, they all found satisfied possessors." 

In 1823, he finally succeeded in making a painting 
of Washington to his own liking. This picture was a 
composite of his own paintings and others. So pleased 
was he with it that he took it to Europe and exhibited 
it in London, Paris, Naples, Rome and Florence. He 
made and sold many copies of this picture. In 1832 
the original was bought by the United States Govern- 
ment and found its final resting place in the capitoL 
Rembrandt Peale died on October 3, 1860 , having 
painted more pictures of George Washington than any 
other artist. 

John Trumbull was one of the most interesting of 
all of Washington's painters. Born in Lebanon, Conn., 
on June 6, 1756, the son of the Revolutionary War gov- 
ernor, Jonathan Trumbull, John entered Harvard Col- 
lege while still a boy. Leaving Harvard in 1773, he 
immediately began his career as a painter. When the 
war broke out he entered the army as adjutant of the 
First Connecticut Regiment. 

Dissatisfied with his rank, he left the army and in 
1780 we hear of him in Paris. In 1781, he arrived in 
London to study with Benjamin West. There he was 

News Releases 535 

imprisoned and, for a time, it looked as if serious trouble 
might develop for him. After seven months of confine- 
ment he was released, went to Amsterdam for a short 
stay and returned home in 1782. However, in 1783, 
he again went to London, where he stayed until 1789. 

In February of 1790 Trumbull painted a picture of 
Washington for the City of New York. That is the 
picture which shows Washington in full uniform stand- 
ing by a white horse. In 1792 he also did a picture for 
the City of New Haven. Later Trumbull fitted these 
pictures into historical settings. Such pictures as "Sur- 
render of Cornwallis," and "Washington's Resignation 
at Annapolis" are very well known. Trumbull held the 
post of President of the American Academy of Fine Arts 
from 1816 to 1825. He died in New York on Novem- 
ber 10, 1843. 

Another interesting portrait painter of the time was 
Joseph Wright. He was born in Bordentown, N. J., on 
July 16, 1756. His father died when he was a boy and 
his mother, who earned a livelihood by making wax 
figures, took him to London. Wright received a good 
education and also instructions in painting from Benja- 
min West. In 1782 he was in Paris and in 1783 he ar- 
rived in Boston with a letter of recommendation to 
Washington from Benjamin Franklin. Before Wright 
left London he had painted the Prince of Wales, which 
had "boosted his stock" considerably. 

In the fall of 1783 he painted Washington at his head- 
quarters at Rocky Hill, N. J. In 1783-84 Wright made 
another picture of Washington for the Count de Solms, 
paid for by Washington. Besides, Wright made several 
etchings of Washington which were remarkable for their 

536 Washington Bicentennial 

likeness to the subject. It is said that Wright made an 
etching unknown to Washington, while the latter was 
attending services at St. Pauls Church in New York 
City. Wright was appointed draughtsman and die- 
sinker when the United States mint was established. He 
died soon after in 1793, from the fever which was then 
raging in Philadelphia. 

A fascinating portrait of Washington is the one by 
Adolph Ulric Wertmueller, a native of Sweden. He 
was born in Stockholm about the year 1750 and, while 
still a young man, he had gained an enviable reputation 
in Europe. The Royal Academies of sculpture and 
painting of Paris and Stockholm both honored him with 

Wertmueller came to America in 1794. The next 
year Washington sat for him and Wertmueller is said 
to have made three pictures from those sittings. One 
of these, considered a remarkable likeness by those who 
have seen it, is in the possession of the Swedish Govern- 
ment at Stockholm. A photograph of this painting is 
owned by Dr. A. B. Hart, historian of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission. Wert- 
mueller went back to Sweden, but returned to the 
United States in 1800. He married and settled in Dela- 
ware, where he lived until his death, which occurred 
on October 5, 1811. 

Robert Edge Pine was born in London in 1742 and 
came to the United States to paint portraits of the 
heroes of the American Revolution. His plan was later 
to incorporate these into historical settings. Unfortu- 
nately, death frustrated these plans. 

The Hon. Francis Hopkinson, of Philadelphia, wrote 

News Releases 5 37 

to Washington requesting a setting for Pine. It was in 
answer to this request that Washington wrote his 
famous letter on May 16, 1785: "In for a penny, in 
for a pound, is an old adage. I am so hackneyed to 
the touches of the painter's pencil, that I am now alto- 
gether at their beck, and sit 'like patience on a monu- 
ment,' whilst they are delineating the lines of my face. 
... At first I was as . . . restive under the operation, 
as a colt is of the saddle. The next time I submitted 
very reluctantly, but with less flouncing. Now, no dray 
moves more readily to his thill than I do to the painter's 

Pine, however, was granted permission to paint 
Washington's portrait. He stayed at Mount Vernon 
for three weeks, where, besides painting the General, 
he also did the grandchildren of Mrs. Washington. 
Pine remained in the United States until his death in 
Philadelphia in 1788. 

Edward Savage made a painting of Washington 
which continues to this day to be very popular. Born 
in Princeton, Mass., in 1761, his first calling was that 
of a goldsmith. Washington sat for Savage, at the 
request of the president and governors of Harvard Col- 
lege in December of 1789 and January of 1790. This 
portrait was donated by the artist to Harvard in 1792, 
where it still remains. Later Savage went abroad and 
studied in London and Italy. He returned to the United 
States and died in his native State of Massachusetts in 

James Sharpless was born in England and educated 
in France. He came to America towards the end of the 
eighteenth century, where he traveled through the land 

538 Washington Bicentennial 

making small-sized profiles of the leading people of 
his day. In Philadelphia, in 1796, Sharpless made a 
profile of Washington, which has received much favor- 
able criticism. Many people regard it as the best like- 
ness of George Washington ever executed. 

Perhaps the most significant portrait ever made was 
done by Jean Antoine Houdon, a sculptor and not a 
painter. So remarkable is his bust of Washington that 
it has been copied by painters and sculptors alike for 
more than a hundred years. Made late in life from 
direct sittings and, being in the round, Washington's 
countenance is fully portrayed. Stuart himself an- 
nounced that Houdon 's bust was the best head ever 
made of Washington, better even than his own 
"Athenaeum Portrait." 

In 1784 the General Assembly of Virginia passed 
the following resolution: "That the Executive be re- 
quested to take measures for procuring a statue of 
General Washington, to be made of the finest marble 
and best workmanship." Governor Harrison commis- 
sioned Charles Willson Peale to make a full-length 
portrait of Washington and send it to Thomas Jeffer- 
son, who was then stationed at Paris. Jefferson had 
made arrangements with Houdon to fashion the statue 
from this picture, but when the sculptor saw it he had 
a change of heart and decided to come to the United 
States himself to see his subject in the flesh. 

Houdon arrived in 1785 and stayed at Mount Vernon 
for two weeks. He made a cast of the face and took 
meticulous measurements of the body. Returning to 
France, he finished the statue in 1788. It remained in 

News Releases 539 

France until the new capitol at Richmond was finished. 
The statue was finally placed in Richmond on May 
14, 1796, where it still remains. This statue is life 
size — measuring 6 feet 2 inches in height. It is made 
of Italian marble and pictures Washington in the mili- 
tary dress of the Revolution. The original bust is at 
Mount Vernon. Houdon died in Paris in 1828 at the 
ripe old age of 87. His bust, always regarded as one of 
the best likenesses ever reproduced of George Wash- 
ington, is constantly gaining in popularity. 

It is from the above mentioned that the Portrait 
Committee of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission will make its selection. Be- 
cause of the caliber of the members of this committee, 
their decision will most likely be accepted as final. The 
portrait chosen will receive the widest distribution ever 
accorded a picture. Hundreds of thousands will be 
printed by the Commission in connection with the two 
hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 

The members of the Portrait Committee of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission are: 
Charles Moore, chairman of the Fine Arts Commission 
of the District of Columbia; Dr. Leicester B. Holland, 
chief of the Division of Fine Arts, Library of Congress; 
Dr. John C. Fitzpatrick, Manuscripts Division, Library 
of Congress; Ezra Winter, Fine Arts Commission of 
New York; Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, historian, of 
Cambridge; Col. Harrison H. Dodge, superintendent of 
Mount Vernon; and Gari Melcher, artist, of Fal- 
mouth, Va. 

540 Washington Bicentennial 

A Rare Bust of George Washington 

A rare bust of George Washington has found its way 
into the United States after an unknown existence of 
130 years in England. 

When Representative Sol Bloom, associate director of 
the United States George Wasington Bicentennial Com- 
mission, returned from Europe last summer, he brought 
back with him an art rarity. It is a marble bust of 
George Washington by the great English sculptor of 
the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, 
Joseph Nollekens. This bust was not executed from 
life, but from an original painting by Gilbert Stuart; 
and, in the 130 years or so of its existence, has been 
viewed by but few Americans. As a matter of fact, 
many American art critics have never even heard of it. 

Joseph Nollekens, one of the best known sculptors 
in all of Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century, 
was born in London, of Dutch parents, on August 11, 
1737. In 1760 he went to Rome, where he soon made 
his mark in the world of art. Twelve years later, in 
1772, at the early age of 3 5, Joseph Nollekens became 
a member of the London Royal Academy. 

His reputation rose steadily. He made busts of the 
leading people of his day. Included in his long list of 
patrons, to mention just a few, are: King George III, 
the Prince of Wales, Lord Grenville, Charles James Fox, 
Samuel Johnson, and Oliver Goldsmith. 

Washington's busts were even then commanding 
large prices both in America and in England. Allured 
by the prospect of a handsome profit and intrigued by 
the personality and reputation of General Washington, 

News Releases 541 

Nollekens set to work and produced his bust, which 
is now coming into prominence. 

Representative Bloom is the possessor of the original 
Nollekens bust and hundreds of replicas have already 
found their way to all parts of the United States. 
Every United States Senator and Representative has 
been presented with one of these busts, and the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission is 
now making arrangements to present one to each of the 
48 governors of the States. 

The original Nollekens bust of George Washington is 
now open to view at the headquarters of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
Washington Building, Washington, D. C. 

Athenaeum Portrait of George Washington 

When looking at the picture of George Washington 
which adorns the dollar bill, few people know the in- 
teresting story connected with the famous portrait from 
which this picture is copied, or of the fascinating biog- 
raphy of the artist. 

According to the Division of Information and Pub- 
lication of the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission, Gilbert Stuart was one of the lead- 
ing portrait painters of the eighteenth century. This 
colorful artist was born in Narragansett, R. I., on De- 
cember 3, 1755, and seemed destined, from the very 
first, to become a great artist. 

At the age of 20, Stuart found himself in London. 
His rise was rapid. Soon he was painting portraits of 
King George III of England, Louis XVI of France, the 

542 Washington Bicentennial 

famous English actress, Mrs. Siddons, and many other 
notables of the day. 

His fame preceding him, Gilbert Stuart returned to 
his native land in 1790. As George Washington was 
one of the ranking figures of the world, and as Gilbert 
Stuart was one of the ranking portrait painters of the 
world, it was only natural that the latter should execute 
a portrait of the former. 

Gilbert Stuart made three, now famous, pictures of 
George Washington. The first was painted in Septem- 
ber of 1795, and turned out not to the artist's liking. 
This picture found its way into the hands of Samuel 
Vaughan, of London, and has since been known as the 
"Vaughan Painting" of George Washington. 

In April of 1796, Stuart had a second chance to paint 
the Father of His Country. This picture, a full-length 
portrait, was made for the Marquis of Lansdowne, and 
has come down in history as the "Lansdowne Portrait." 
Stuart, however, was still not satisfied. 

Stuart had his third and last opportunity that same 
year when the President personally commissioned him 
to paint the pictures of both Mrs. Washington and him- 
self. This picture of the General satisfied Stuart, to 
say the least. So pleased was he with this creation that 
he hated to part with it. He purposely left the back- 
ground unfinished so that he could make copies, and 
sell them, before presenting the original to the President. 
Washington, somewhat impatient, informed Stuart that 
he would accept a copy rather than wait so long for the 
original. So the original treasure remained with Stuart, 
and, upon his death, on July 27, 1828, it came into the 
possession of his wife. 

News Releases 543 

In October of 1831, this picture was sold by Stuart's 
widow, for $1,500, to the Washington Association of 
Boston, which society presented it to the Boston Athe- 
naeum. There it has been housed ever since, and has 
come to be known as the "Athenaeum Portrait" of 
George Washington. 

It can unqualifiedly be said that the "Athenaeum Por- 
trait" is and always has been the best known and most 
popular painting of George Washington. 

Houdon Bust Formally Dedicated in Virginia 

Formal dedication of the famous Houdon statue of 
George Washington featured simple but impressive cere- 
monies held in the State capitol at Richmond, Va., hon- 
oring the first President of the United States. This was 
the first of a series of public exercises arranged to honor 
Virginia-born Presidents. 

Although this famous statue of Washington has stood 
in or near the capitol of Virginia for 13 5 years, this was 
the first official dedication. 

Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, for many years a professor 
of history at Harvard and now historian of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
was selected by Governor Pollard and the committee 
arranging today's ceremonies, as orator for the occasion. 

He preferred to assume that the dedication of the 
statue had not been delayed for 135 years but was tak- 
ing place on the original date of May 14, 1796, by a 
Massachusetts man, appropriately dressed for that pe- 

The interesting history of the statue was related by 
Dr. Hart. This marble statue of Washington was pro- 

544 Washington Bicentennial 

vided for by an act of the Virginia legislature in 1784. 
Thomas Jefferson, then diplomatic representative of the 
United States in Paris, procured the services of Jean 
Antoine Houdon to carry out the wishes of the State 

The famous sculptor insisted that he must come over 
and make the necessary statue from life. He was cor- 
dially received by Washington at Mount Vernon, spent 
a busy fortnight with the great American hero and car- 
ried away with him measurements and the model of 
Washington's bust of which the original is now believed 
to be in the hands of Mr. J. P. Morgan, of New York. 
It is also the source of the round bust of Washington, at 
present in Mount Vernon. 

Referring to the role he was playing, Dr. Hart as- 
sumed that Washington was at the moment in Phila- 
delphia as President of the United States, and that the 
great Virginians of the period were men engaged in the 
government of State and Nation, or were overseas as 
representatives of the United States. He praised the 
statue from the point of view of the leading men of Mas- 
sachusetts at that time headed by John Adams, Vice 
President of the United States, and deplored the fact 
that Washington himself was not present because of the 
weight of public duties. He highly praised the statue 
as a work of art and saw in it, not the General at the 
head of his troops, but the civilian Washington who had 
hung his sword upon the marble fasces which Houdon 
added, as an indication that Washington was a man of 
peace as well as war. 

The speaker quoted from letters and addresses of the 
year 1796. He pictured Washington as engaging at 

News Releases 545 

that moment upon his farewell address and quoted a 
letter of Hamilton's of May 9, 1796, written "five days 
ago." The speaker laid great stress on Washington's 
interest in the West and as a landholder in Kentucky, 
separated from Virginia only four years ago. He char- 
acterized Washington as the first great Westerner, for 
he had in his mind in 1796 and in his correspondence 
such key places as Detroit at the head of Lake Michigan, 
the Lake of the Woods, the lower Mississippi River, and 
even a far distant land called California. 

He reminded the Virginians of the undeviating in- 
terest of Washington in his native State. At the same 
time he claimed for New England the right to look on 
Washington as their President and their hero. 

At the end, the speaker quoted from an early address 
of Abraham Lincoln, closing with the sentence "and 
that we improved to the last, that we remained free to 
the last, that we revered his name to the last, that dur- 
ing his long sleep we permitted no hostile foot to pass 
over or desecrate his resting place, shall be that which 
to learn the last trump shall awaken our Washington." 

First Congress Urged to Feed on "Wild Pigeons" 

A motion that the members of the first Continental 
Congress be fed on "wild pigeons," apparently the 
cheapest food on the market at that time, was made by 
a Virginia delegate in 1774 in a desire to put the country 
to the least possible expense in the maintenance of Con- 

The motion was made by Richard Henry Lee, whose 
famous resolution in 1776 "that these united colonies 
are, and of a right ought to be free and independent 

546 Washington Bicentennial 

states," paved the way for the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, according to his son, Ludwell Lee. 

When the first Continental Congress assembled in 
Philadelphia in September, 1774, there had been no pro- 
vision made for the maintenance of the members while 
in the discharge of their public duties. A council be- 
ing held to determine the ways and means of affecting 
such an arrangement, Richard Henry Lee rose and ob- 
served that as he was assured that every member present 
was desirous of putting the country to the least pos- 
sible expense, in the maintenance of Congress, he would 
move, that, during the session, the honorable members 
be fed on "wild pigeons," that article appearing to be 
in very great abundance and certainly the very cheap- 
est food that could be purchased. 

It is said that Lee, in later life, often congratulated 
himself upon this motion, declaring it to have been, in 
purity of patriotism, not second even to his immortal 
resolve in 1776. 

Twenty Lexingtons and Fifteen Concords 

"By the rude bridge which arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 

Here once the embattled farmers stood, 

And fired the shot heard round the world." 

America's beloved Emerson, inspired by the courage 
and determination of the immortal Minutemen, thus 
began his great tribute to those heroes who, on the morn- 
ing of April 19, 1775, so dramatically ushered in the 
Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord. 

The Division of Information and Publication of the 

News Releases 547 

United States George Washington Bicentennial Com- 
mission recalls that just as Massachusetts had been the 
starting place for much of the agitation which preceded 
the Revolutionary War, so the future Bay State was the 
scene of the opening conflict of that great struggle. 

In connection with the anniversary this year of this 
important event the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission suggests that plans may be 
started for special observances of this day throughout 
the United States next year as part of the celebration 
of Washington's birth. 

There are in the United States 15 cities and towns 
named Concord and 20 named Lexington. These com- 
munities could appropriately hold special ceremonies in 
commemoration of the events which had occurred more 
than 150 years ago. Without a doubt, the State of Mas- 
sachusetts, as the home of the original Lexington and 
Concord, will observe the anniversary by the reenact- 
ment of the famous battles. 

Kansas City has planned, as part of the bicentennial 
observance next year, to stage a ride of Paul Revere from 
that city to Lexington, Mo. This is an excellent sug- 
gestion which might also be carried out by other com- 
munities named after the renowned towns in Massachu- 

In this connection it is interesting to note that of the 
26 States with a town named either Lexington or Con- 
cord, nine have both. If in some of these States the two 
cities happen to be near each other the entire affair may 
be reenacted by using some nearby city as Boston, the 
starting place of Revere's famous ride as well as the 
march of the British soldiers. Where this is impossible, 

548 Washington Bicentennial 

each town may hold its own celebration based on the 
events which took place in 1775. 

The clashes at Lexington and Concord were the final 
episode in the series of difficulties between England and 
her colonies which brought on the Revolution. They 
were the factors which convinced George Washington 
that war with the Mother Country was inevitable and 
caused him to enlist unequivocally in the cause of com- 
plete separation from Britain. Writing of the battles 
to a friend in England he said, "Unhappy it is to reflect 
that a brother's sword has been sheathed in a brother's 
breast; and that the once happy and peaceful plains of 
America are to be either drenched with blood or in- 
habited by slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous 
man hesitate in his choice?" 

Army Officers Made "Naval Commanders" in First 
United States Fleet 

The extraordinary process of creating a naval force 
by giving army commissions to commanders of ships 
and putting on board detachments from the army as 
crews was resorted to by Gen. George Washington in 

During the siege of Boston in 1775-76, when Congress 
was still undecided as to the expediency of fitting out 
ships against the British, General Washington, with 
characteristic resourcefulness, took the matter into his 
own hands and created a force of public armed ships. 
He found in the Continental Army a regiment made 
up of trained sailors. This was the Essex County Regi- 
ment, commanded by Col. John Glover, of Marblehead, 

News Releases 549 

which was composed chiefly of sailors and fishermen and 
the so-called amphibious. With this element to draw 
upon, Washington fitted out armed ships manned, as 
he himself wrote, by "soldiers who have been bred to 
the sea." 

The first of this fleet was the schooner, Hannah, com- 
manded by Capt. Nicholson Broughton, of Marblehead, 
and manned by a detachment from Colonel Glover's 
regiment. The status of this vessel was fixed beyond 
any question by Washington's order to Captain Brough- 
ton on September 2, 1775, to fit out and equip the ship 
with arms, ammunition, and provisions at continental 

This became the first warship regularly commissioned 
by authority derived from the United Colonies and 
given definite orders to attack the enemy. Washing- 
ton's letter of instructions to Captain Broughton estab- 
lishing the status of the Hannah beyond any question 
reads as follows: 

"1. You being appointed a captain in the Army of the 
United Colonies of North America, are hereby directed 
to take command of a detachment of said Army and 
proceed on board the schooner Hannah, at Beverly, 
lately fitted out and equipped with arms, ammunition, 
and provisions at Continental expense. 

"2. You are to proceed as commander of said 
schooner immediately on a cruise against such vessels as 
may be found on the high seas or elsewhere bound in- 
wards or outwards, to and from Boston, in the service 
of the Ministerial Army, and to take and seize all such 
vessels laden with soldiers, arms, ammunition, or pro- 

5 50 Washington Bicentennial 

visions, for or from such Army, or which you shall have 
good reason to suspect are in such service." 

The sequence of events made this act of Washington 
unquestionably the beginning of the United States 
Navy. He commissioned other armed ships in the same 
way, with the result that Congress was aroused, and on 
October 5, 1775, instructed Washington to fit out 
armed vessels. In addition a committee of Congress, 
called the "Naval Committee," consisting of John 
Adams, Silas Deane, and John Langdon, was appointed. 

The schooners Lynch, Lee, Warren, Washington, and 
Harrison were immediately equipped as armed vessels, 
and the little fleet proved of real value in the siege of 
Boston, capturing over 30 vessels. The first of these 
was the British vessel Unity, taken by the Hannah on 
September 6, 1775, the day after Captain Broughton 
and his crew sailed on the first cruise. 

The schooner Lee was the most successful of these 
vessels, with Capt. John Manley as captain. His ability 
won the esteem of Washington, who made him com- 
modore of the fleet on January 1, 1776. Among its 
prizes the Lee captured the Nancy, a large brigantine 
loaded with ordnance and supplies for the British Army 
in Boston. This cargo made it possible to continue the 
siege, and also prepared the way for the capture of 

Three Presidents Died on July 4 

One historic fact relating to July 4 is seldom 
remembered in our usual observance of Independence 
Day, we are informed by the Division of Information 
and Publication of the United States George Washing- 

News Releases .551 

ton Bicentennial Commission. This is especially strange 
because this historic fact has touching and dramatic 
meaning. July 4 is the day on which three Presidents 
of the United States died. Each of these three early 
Presidents played a prominent part in the formation 
of our Government, and each received, as a reward from 
the people, elevation to their highest office. Having 
performed great labors in planning the theory of our 
government, it fell to their lot to set noble examples in 
putting the theory into practical effect. 

These three Presidents were John Adams, Thomas 
Jefferson, and James Monroe. Indeed John Adams and 
Thomas Jefferson died almost at the same hour on July 4, 
1826. After many sharp differences of opinion, which 
had divided them during a part of their lives, Adams 
and Jefferson became not only reconciled but closely 
attached friends. The correspondence of their final 
years is one of the glories of American letters. Adams 
lived to be 90, Jefferson 83. Neither knew how close 
to death was the other, and Adams' last words, when 
conscious that death was near, are said to have been, 
"Thomas Jefferson still lives." But Thomas Jefferson 
was already dead. 

Before their Presidency both these great men served 
as Vice President, and one of them as Vice President 
while the other was President. The older man, John 
Adams, was Vice President under George Washington 
himself. All three were closely associated with Wash- 
ington during our formative days, and to one of them, 
John Adams, goes the credit for playing a major part 
in throwing George Washington into the arms of 

552- Washington Bicentennial 

It was largely the action of John Adams that led the 
Continental Congress to appoint George Washington as 
Commander in Chief of the revolutionary forces. Be- 
fore that time Washington had been an outstanding sec- 
tional figure, a man of the South. In command of the 
continental forces, he became a man of the country, 
and history knows full well how he played the part. 

James Monroe, a younger man, appeared on the scene 
of action after the great political groundwork of found- 
ing the Nation had been accomplished. But as a young 
man he played a gallant part on the field of battle as a 
follower of Washington. 

Strange to say, he at first opposed the Constitution 
of the United States and, as a member of the Virginia 
Convention, elected to act on adoption of the Consti- 
tution, he voted against it. Yet he lived to become the 
President who enunciated a doctrine that statesmen 
regard as no less a settled rule of American policy than 
the Constitution itself. James Monroe died on July 4, 
1831, but the "Monroe Doctrine" is immortal. 

The older men, Adams and Jefferson, are forever 
linked with George Washington as leaders in the move- 
ment that made America independent. Washington 
was distinctly the man of action, the soldier, the director 
of affairs, and without him the Revolution might never 
have moved to victory. But just as necessary were the 
philosophy of Jefferson in shaping our principles of gov- 
ernment, and the abilities of Adams in waking and 
training popular opinion, a labor in which he had few 
peers. Both Adams and Jefferson served on the com- 
mittee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Both 
signed the Declaration, and to one of them, Thomas 

News Releases 553 

Jefferson, belongs the immortal honor of having written 
that timeless instrument. 

In spite of their passing differences, these two giants 
of intellect and manhood were partners throughout 
their lives in one of the greatest achievements for the 
progress of humanity. On the very birthday of the 
new charter they had brought to mankind, when the 
entire Nation was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, 
they died within a few hours of each other. Had they 
been allowed to select the day of their passing, neither 
could have picked one more to his liking, or more fitting 
to the record they have left on American history. 

As Independence Day is celebrated this year, the 
American people should spare a thought or two to this 
striking historic fact. In honoring the day as the begin- 
ning of their liberties and privileges, they should also 
honor the memories of these three men who died, full of 
years and full of honors, on this birthday of a govern- 
ment that has enriched the records of the past as it has 
enriched the lives of a living people. 

The "Old North State" in the Revolution 

To all North Carolinians April 12 is a significant date, 
for it marks the one hundred and fifty-fifth anniver- 
sary of the Old North State's resolution in favor of 
declaring the independence of the Colonies. This reso- 
lution, providing "that the delegates for this Colony in 
the Continental Congress be impowered to concur with 
the delegates of the other Colonies in declaring Inde- 
pendency," anticipated by three months the complete 
break with the mother country proclaimed by the Con- 
tinental Congress on July 4, and was the first action 

554 Washington Bicentennial 

of the kind to be taken by the legislature of any colony. 

The Old North State played an important part in the 
events leading up to the Revolution, as well as in that 
great struggle itself, and many of her sons were among 
the leaders of the time. The names of Caswell, Davie, 
Iredell, Rutherford, Davidson, Ashe, Moore, and nu- 
merous others are conspicuous on that immortal roll of 
honor headed by the greatest of all, George Washington. 

That the sentiment of North Carolinians was early 
crystallizing in favor of complete separation from Eng- 
land is indicated in the famous Mecklenburg resolves of 
May 31, 1775. This proclamation, framed by the Meck- 
lenburg County Committee, assembled at Charlotte 
Town, stated "that all Laws and Commissions confirmed 
by, or derived from the authority of the King or parlia- 
ment, are annulled and vacated," and the "former civil 
Constitution of these Colonies" was declared suspended. 
Provision was made for the creation of a new civil gov- 
ernment and military organization. A committee was 
appointed to purchase powder and ammunition and the 
militiamen were ordered to equip themselves and stand 
in readiness for immediate service. 

The first clash of the Revolution on North Carolina 
soil occurred February 27, 1776, at Moore's Creek Bridge 
between a force of British loyalists and a body of Amer- 
ican militia. This skirmish is called the "Concord and 
Lexington of the South," for it aroused the colony to 
definite action as nothing else had done. It was a com- 
plete victory for the Americans, who killed or cap- 
tured the leaders of the Tories and dispersed the men. 
The patriots also captured 350 muskets, 150 swords, 
1,500 new rifles, supplies of medicine, and a box of gold 

News Releases 555 

containing 15,000 pounds sterling. The American 
commanders were Colonel Caswell and Colonel Lilling- 
ton, both of whom were to serve with conspicuous 
gallantry on other fields. 

Two of the Old North State's soldiers who attained 
particular eminence were Gen. James Moore and Gen. 
Robert Howe, each of whom served for a time in com- 
mand of the Department of the South. Moore was 
considered one of the outstanding leaders of the early 
part of the war, and his death at the age of 40 in Jan- 
uary, 1777, cut short a career which gave promise of 
brilliant achievement. 

Much of the warfare in the South was carried on by 
militia and partisan troops, commanded by men like 
Rutherford, Davie, Davidson, and Dixon. It would be 
difficult to overestimate the benefit to the American 
cause derived from the services of these men. They 
hung on the flanks of Clinton and Cornwallis to harass 
and destroy so that the movements of the British were 
seriously hampered. 

At Brandy wine and Germantown Nash led North 
Carolinians with distinguished bravery. Although 
Nash gave his life on the latter field, his men continued 
as a unit and were with Washington at Monmouth. 
Dixon and his corps of North Carolina Militia gave an 
excellent account of themselves at Camden, and, to- 
gether with the militia of other Southern States, struck 
the fatal blow at King's Mountain which dashed the 
hopes Cornwallis had of subjugating the South. 

In the great struggle for freedom which brought this 
Nation into existence the soil of North Carolina was 
drenched with the blood of her manhood, but the 

556 Washington Bicentennial 

greatest engagement fought within the bounds of the 
Old North State took place at Guilford Court House. 
The details of that battle need no retelling, for its im- 
portance has been appreciated from the first. Corn- 
wallis rightly claimed the victory, but it cost him so 
dearly that he was obliged to withdraw immediately to 
a position of greater security. 

Besides those whose military achievements rank high, 
North Carolina produced men like James Iredell who, 
with Davie, led the fight for ratification of the Consti- 
tution and who was later appointed to the bench of 
the Supreme Court by President Washington; Joseph 
Hewes, legislator and shipper, who signed the Declara- 
tion of Independence, and whose ships were used to bring 
supplies from abroad; John Penn and William Hooper, 
also signers of the Declaration of Independence; and 
William Blount, Hugh Williamson, and Richard D. 
Spaight, who were delegates to the Constitutional Con- 
vention. It should be remarked that William R. Davie 
also contributed much to the framing of the Constitu- 
tion, but was prevented from signing that great instru- 
ment when called back to his State. 

As the twelfth State to ratify the Constitution, North 
Carolina was too late to vote for Washington in the 
first presidential election, but once in the Federal Union 
the old North State gave him the support which was 
inspired by the admiration and respect in which the 
first President was universally held by his countrymen. 
When Washington made his southern tour in April, 
1791, he was received with great acclaim, and his 
progress through North Carolina was accompanied by 
enthusiastic ovations. 

News Releases 5 57 

In preparation for the nation-wide celebration next 
year of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of 
George Washington, North Carolina has appointed a 
State Bicentennial Commission to cooperate with the 
National Commission to carry out the great program 
which has been prepared. The men and women who are 
to organize the Old North State's tribute to the Father 
of His Country are: 

Gov. Angus W. McLean; Judge Francis D. Winston, 
of Windsor; Mrs. Sidney Cooper, of Henderson; Joshua 
L. Home, Jr., of Rocky Mount; Mrs. B. Frank Mebane, 
of Spray; Mrs. David H. Blair, of Winston-Salem; Clyde 
R. Hoey, of Shelby; Mrs. E. D. Broadhurst, of Greens- 
boro; Col. Wade H. Harris, of Charlotte; John D. 
Bellamy, of Wilmington; and J. F. Hurley, of Salisbury. 

Anniversary of Vermont's Statehood 

The State of Vermont was admitted to the Union 
on March 4, 1791, as the fourteenth State in the federa- 
tion, and the first one to enter after the adoption of 
the Constitution. 

When George Washington became the first President 
of the United States in 1789 he found himself at the 
head of thirteen States, which before the Revolutionary 
War had been the Colonies of Great Britain. For a long 
time the people of Vermont had been seeking recog- 
nition on the same basis as the other commonwealths, 
but this had been denied them, due to the fact that the 
land controversy with New York over the New Hamp- 
shire grants had not been settled. At last the conflicting 
claims of the Empire State and the Green Mountain 

558 Washington Bicentennial 

people were adjusted, and Vermont became the first 
State to enter the Union after it had been formed. 

In the Revolutionary War the people of this State 
figured prominently, and they contributed many 
patriots to the cause of independence. Something of 
the character of those who settled there may be realized 
from the statement of General Burgoyne, who called 
them "the most active and rebellious race on the con- 
tinent, that hangs like a gathering storm on my left." 

Among the early leaders of the people of Vermont, 
perhaps the most spectacular was Ethan Allen, the hero 
of Ticonderoga. In the disputes with New York over 
the land grants, Allen took a prominent part, and when 
it appeared that hostilities might develop, he helped to 
form a military establishment of which he was the 
leader with the rank of colonel. This regiment took 
the name of "Green Mountain Boys," in defiance of 
Governor Tryon, of New York, who later became a 
leader of the Tories. Tryon had threatened to drive 
back into the Green Mountains all who held their lands 
against the claims of New York. Allen had formed 
plans for the creation of a new colony in the disputed 
territory, when the Revolution commenced and put an 
end temporarily to his activities in that direction. 

As soon as hostilities broke out at Lexington and 
Concord, Colonel Allen immediately conceived the idea 
of capturing Ticonderoga, then held by the British. At 
the head of the mountaineers he commenced his march 
against the English post, but before arriving there he 
was overtaken by Benedict Arnold, who held a com- 
mission from the Committee of Safety. Arnold joined 

News Releases 559 

the force as a volunteer and accompanied Allen at the 
head of the troops. 

When the Americans arrived at Lake Champlain 
opposite Ticonderoga on the night of May 9, they found 
there were not enough boats to transport the entire 
body across. As the morning of May 10 began to dawn, 
Allen found that he had only 83 men with him — the 
rest remained on the Vermont shore. There was no 
time to be lost, however, so he drew up his men, told 
them it was to be a desperate undertaking, and gave 
everyone who wished it a chance to withdraw. Every 
man remained. 

When the Americans reached the gate to the fort, 
they surprised the sentry there, who, it is said, aimed 
his rifle at Colonel Allen and pulled the trigger. Fortu- 
nately the gun failed to fire. The sentry was seized, 
and would have been put to death immediately had it 
not been for the intervention of Allen, who promised 
him his life on condition that he lead the attackers to 
the quarters of the commanding officer. Proceeding to 
these quarters, they found De La Place not yet dressed, 
and he was called upon to surrender. At first he re- 
fused, demanding upon what authority such a request 
was made. Colonel Allen stepped closer to him and in 
an imperious manner hurled at the Briton the immortal 
statement, "In the name of the great Jehovah and the 
Continental Congress." La Place concluded this was 
authority enough, and he turned the fort over to the 

This coup netted the Americans a not inconsiderable 
supply of guns and ammunition — articles of which they 
were in serious need. Later in the year the cannon which 

560 Washington Bicentennial 

Allen captured were carried over the mountains and 
were used by General Washington at the siege of Boston. 
The success of this spectacular exploit convinced 
Ethan Allen that Canada might be entirely subjugated 
by the Americans if they were to take immediate action. 
Although he urged the plan on Congress and the mili- 
tary leaders, he received no encouragement. On his 
own initiative, he planned an attack on Montreal. Maj. 
John Brown was to cooperate with him in this enter- 
prise, but for some reason never explained the junction 
was not completed. Finding himself unsupported be- 
fore Montreal, Allen had either to fight or withdraw. 
The latter course appeared as dangerous as the former, 
so he determined to hold his ground as long as possible. 
The odds were overwhelming, however, and he was 
forced to surrender. 

Had it not been for this unfortunate affair, the name 
of Ethan Allen might have been placed among those of 
the leading generals of the American Army. Wash- 
ington wrote of him after their first interview, "There 
is an original something in him that commands atten- 
tion." As it was, his military career which promised 
so much was cut short in its beginning. He was taken 
to England, where he was offered various proposals to 
forsake his countrymen and serve under the British flag. 
Nothing, however, could induce him to change his 
allegiance, and at last, after a captivity of nearly three 
years, 'he was sent back to New York, where he was 
exchanged for Col. Alexander Campbell. Upon being 
released by the British, Allen proceeded to Valley Forge 
to meet Washington. He wrote a letter to Congress in 
which he offered his services in any capacity and re- 

News Releases 561 

turned to Bennington. Thereafter his military activi- 
ties were confined to his own State. 

When Burgoyne attempted his invasion of the 
Colonies from Canada in the late summer and fall of 
1777, he was opposed by troops consisting of a large 
number of militia from Vermont. At Bennington, the 
battle which contributed not a little toward Burgoyne 's 
ultimate defeat at Saratoga, one of the heroes was Col. 
Seth Warner, who had been at Ticonderoga with Allen. 
Warner continued in the army throughout the war as 
one of its outstanding officers. In addition to Allen and 
Warner, other men of Vermont took an active part in 
the Revolutionary War. Among these are such names 
as Robinson, Fay, Baker, Clark, Bayley, Carpenter, 
Safford, and Fletcher. All these men were active in the 
early history of the United States, and each one con- 
tributed to the greatness which this country has 

On the anniversary of Vermont's entrance into the 
Union, the people of the Green Mountain State should 
remember with pride the achievements of those who 
helped form this commonwealth. From the beginning 
of her statehood, Vermont has been an important unit in 
the United States. Founded by freedom-loving pioneers, 
Vermont's constitution was the first instrument of that 
nature in modern times to put a ban on slavery. 

Unable to vote in the first presidential election, the* 
people of Vermont demonstrated their regard for George 
Washington by adding their electoral votes to those of 
the other states to make his second election unanimous 
also. The memory of that great man and the inestima- 
ble service he rendered his country can not but reawaken 

562 Washington Bicentennial 

the spirit of patriotism that existed in the "Green Moun- 
tain Boys" of 1775 and inspire the tribute to Washing- 
ton's memory which he so eminently deserves. 

Virginia Ratified Constitution 143 Years Ago 

June 26 brings the 143rd anniversary of Virginia's 
ratification of the Constitution of the United States. 
And along with the rejoicings it justifies in George 
Washington's own State, the anniversary calls to mind 
the startling development of our country. 

Within this comparatively brief period of years the 
United States has executed one of the most dramatic 
changes in all history. In less than a century and a half 
our country has passed from a population of three and a 
quarter millions of farmers, mechanics, and small traders 
to become a world-power of 125 million people, organ- 
ized as the richest and most highly productive nation in 
the record of human progress. 

If, through all this sweeping alteration of life itself, 
any one thing among us has remained untouched in 
principle, it is the Constitution of the United States. 
With its guarantee of equal opportunity to every citi- 
zen, the instrument is widely credited with having made 
possible this tremendous material development. As a 
purely political document, Gladstone called it the great- 
est effort ever struck off from the human mind. Every 
American agrees with him. Nothing in our life is so 
profoundly revered today. 

Despite the solidity of this legal foundation, and the 
vast structure we have built upon it, the historic fact re- 
mains that when the Constitution was placed before the 
States for ratification, it was viewed, in many quarters, 

News Releases 563 

as dangerous, risky, and unwanted. In Virginia it was 
bitterly fought by men like Patrick Henry, James Mon- 
roe, and George Mason— himself a member of the Con- 
vention in Philadelphia that drafted the document. 

We of today find it hard to believe that this tried and 
successful system of government so nearly failed of ap- 
proval in several of the States. Harder still to swallow 
is the fact that the Constitution itself was regarded as 
"unconstitutional." We assume that while the Phila- 
delphia Convention deliberated, an eager and single- 
minded American populace waited to hail and accept 
the product of its labors. Historic truth is exactly the 

The Philadelphia Convention, presided over by George 
Washington himself, had been authorized only to amend 
the original Articles of Confederation that bound the 
Colonies together. There was no public urge to organ- 
ize the States into a strong political Union. The States 
were all jealous of their rights and powers, and nothing 
further was wanted in the way of a central government 
beyond some stabilization that might facilitate the re- 
vival of trade and commerce in the war-shattered com- 
munities. It was largely business interests that led to 
the Philadelphia Convention. 

In drafting a wholly new political constitution for 
the States, the Convention vastly exceeded its powers. 
It met in secret; its records were given in custody to 
George Washington; and they remained unpublished for 
years. Hence at the time there was ample and logical 
reason why the Constitution it brought forth was re- 
ceived with surprise and misgiving. 

In due time Virginia elected a convention to deter- 

564 Washington Bicentennial 

mine whether this "new plan" of government should 
be ratified. But the Old Dominion, a leading State in 
the Revolution, was nearly the last of the States to act 
on the Constitution. She did so then only after a battle 
of her intellectual giants. Jefferson was away, as Am- 
bassador to Paris, Washington was at Mount Vernon; 
but the little wooden hall in the new State capital of 
Richmond rang with the eloquence of every other Vir- 
ginian of importance. James Madison, James Monroe, 
Governor Edmund Randolph, John Marshall, George 
Mason, George Wythe, Patrick Henry — all were there, 
on one side or the other. 

For more than two weeks of continuous debate the 
issue hung in the balance. The Virginia Convention 
met on June 1, 1788. On June 26 the vote was taken, 
and the Constitutionalists won, after a titanic struggle. 
Eight members of the Convention flatly voted against 
the will of their constituents, and two ignored their in- 
structions. Patrick Henry rose to one of his heights of 
oratory in opposition. But a hundred miles away was a 
man whose weight ultimately settled the issue. When 
the decision to ratify had been made, William Grayson, 
himself in opposition, said from the floor that the vote 
was the result of the quiet pressure of George Wash- 
ington. "I think," said Grayson, "that were it not for 
one great character in America, so many men would 
not be for this (new) government." 

So George Washington, having fought through the 
Revolution, having seen the Constitution written, saw 
to it that his native State adopted the plan that has since 
lifted the United States to historic preeminence. Within 
a short time he was destined to be elected its first Presi- 

News Releases 565 

dent, and finished his work by starting the new ma- 
chinery of government on its way. 

Next year, when again June 26 brings round the date 
of her ratifying the Constitution, Virginia will have a 
double reason for participating in the two hundredth 
anniversary of George Washington's birth, which occurs 
in 1932. There will be no division of opinion in Vir- 
ginia as to her part when the entire nation devotes 10 
months of the year 1932 to honor her foremost son. 

Under the active and helpful leadership of the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
Virginia is rapidly shaping plans for the great com- 
memoration next year. As the birth State and the life- 
long home of America's greatest and best-loved man, 
Virginia will be, in a sense, the hostess to the Nation. It 
goes without saying that her people will nobly rise to 
the occasion. 

Already the State has given guarantee of that in form- 
ing a United States George Washington Bicentennial 
Commission, headed by Governor John Garland Pol- 
lard, and composed of such names as: James H. Price, 
President of the Senate, Richmond; J. Sinclair Brown, 
Speaker, Salem; John H. Williams, Clerk of the House 
of Delegates, Richmond; Robert Lecky, Jr., Richmond; 
Robert O. Norris, Jr., Lively, Va. ; A. E. Shumate, Pear- 
isburg; Robert Gilliam, Jr., Petersburg; Ashton Dovell, 
Williamsburg; Charles E. Stuart, Montross; Charles W. 
Moss, Richmond. 

Granite State Revolutionary Heroes 

To the people of New Hampshire the names of John 
Stark and John Sullivan stand as symbols of patriotic 

566 Washington Bicentennial 

service and achievement unexcelled in the annals of 
American history. Both of these men figured conspicu- 
ously in the Revolutionary War as officers of honor and 
merit, and they deservedly enjoyed the friendship and 
esteem of George Washington under whose leadership 
they assisted so materially in the establishment of Amer- 
ican independence. 

One of the factors which proved embarrassing to the 
leaders of the patriot cause was the existence through- 
out the Colonies of a tory or loyalist element which at 
first opposed separation from England and after inde- 
pendence had been declared, refused to forsake the 
mother country. No colony was entirely free from this 
element, and it continued to be a problem in one way 
or another for the duration of the war. 

There were perhaps fewer loyalists in New Hamp- 
shire than in any other Colony. One of the reasons for 
this was no doubt the fact that a vigorous, freedom- 
loving people had settled there, but certainly the action 
of the Colony itself was a factor in the situation. Fol- 
lowing the Declaration of Independence the inhabitants 
of New Hampshire were required by legislative edict 
to commit themselves in writing either in favor of or 
opposed to separation from England. As a result of 
this requirement toryism never was the problem in New 
Hampshire that it became Jn other Colonies. 

Even before the battles of Lexington and Concord, 
New Hampshire had signified her opposition to the 
measures of coercion which the British ministry had 
adopted against the American Colonies. In 1774, John 
Langdon and John Sullivan seized Fort William and 
Mary, at Portsmouth, together with the stores which 

News Releases 567 

the English had collected at that place. The powder 
and ammunition taken in this exploit were later used 
to a good advantage by the Americans at Bunker Hill. 

After the Revolution formally began with General 
Washington's siege of Boston, which commenced in the 
summer of 1775, New Hampshire entered whole-heart- 
edly into the conflict and none of the Colonies was more 
loyal to the cause of liberty. Early in 1775 three regi- 
ments were formed under the command of John Stark, 
James Reed and Enoch Poor. Those commanded by 
the first two were at Bunker Hill — in fact, it is said 
that about half of the troops which took part in that 
historic battle were from New Hampshire. General 
Stark was one of the heroes of that occasion, and he ac- 
quitted himself with honor. 

In 1777, New Hampshire maintained in the field 17 
regiments numbering 16,710 troops which, it is esti- 
mated, comprised all the able-bodied men of military 
age in the State. No other Colony could boast a better 
military record in the Revolution than this. 

Perhaps the most conspicuous service of the New 
Hampshire militia and troops of the line in any one cam- 
paign was their participation in the action against Gen- 
eral Burgoyne on the latter's invasion of the northern 
Colonies. At Freeman's Farm, known also as Bemis 
Heights, Poor's brigade was especially effective against 
the British. Two engagements occurred at this place 
in each of which Burgoyne suffered considerable loss. 
It was at Bennington, however, that the Briton received 
his most serious check in the blow which more than any 
other single incident brought about his capitulation at 
Saratoga. Again it was General Stark and men of New 

568 Washington Bicentennial 

Hampshire who secured the victory. The old hero of 
Bunker Hill threw himself in Baum's rear and cut off 
all avenues of escape so that surrender became inevitable. 
Washington later referred to it as "the great stroke 
struck by General Stark near Bennington." 

Gen. John Sullivan, as famous as his compatriot, 
General Stark, was a son of New Hampshire by adop- 
tion, but his loyalty and devotion to the Granite State 
never wavered. In 1776 he assumed command of the 
army in Canada. He found the military establishment 
there in a deplorable condition and immediately set him- 
self to work improving it. Supplies of all kinds were al- 
most totally lacking and had to be obtained in a more 
or less hostile territory. Sullivan was equal to the task, 
however, and succeeded in bringing off the entire army 
without loss. For this remarkable exploit he was com- 
missioned major general. 

At the unfortunate engagement at Long Island, Gen- 
eral Sullivan held an important part of the line. Despite 
his gallant efforts he was surrounded and captured by 
the British. A short time later he was exchanged and 
Washington sent him on a punitive expedition against 
the Six Nations. Sullivan burned the Indians' villages, 
destroyed their crops and wrought a terrible vengeance 
for their depredations against the western New England 
settlers so that the danger of savage incursions was ended. 

Throughout the war New Hampshire troops con- 
tinued their service under General Washington. They 
were with the Commander in Chief in his battles at 
Trenton, Germantown and Monmouth, and spent the 
winter with him at Valley Forge. At Yorktown, men 
from the Granite State saw the finish of the war. One 

News Releases 569 

of them, Alexander Scammell, then adjutant general 
under Washington, gave his life in one of the brave 
charges on the British redoubts. 

A noteworthy fact which is not universally known 
is that John Paul Jones, naval hero of the Revolution, 
outfitted and sailed one of his ships, the Ranger, from 
Portsmouth. In this craft the gallant American sea 
fighter met and defeated the British war ship Drake 
in an encounter off the coast of Ireland, and preyed upon 
English shipping with telling effect. Other ships were 
fitted out and commissioned as privateers in New 
Hampshire. Among these were the Enterprise and 
the McClary. 

From New Hampshire came Josiah Bartlett, William 
Whipple and Matthew Thornton, signers of the Decla- 
ration of Independence, and John Langdon and Nicholas 
Gilman, members of the Constitutional Convention. 
Other prominent men held positions of responsibility in 
the new government and their counsels in matters of 
state were of great value in shaping the early course of 
this Nation. Following the Revolution came Jeremiah 
Mason and Daniel Webster, two of America's foremost 
statesmen, and Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the 
United States — all sons of New Hampshire. 

It was New Hampshire's ratification of the Consti- 
tution that made that instrument effective. When the 
Constitutional Convention completed its work in the 
summer of 1787 it was provided that the Constitution 
would go into effect upon its acceptance by nine of the 
States. New Hampshire was the ninth State to ratify, 
and thus her vote made the fundamental law of the 
United States immediately operative. 

570 Washington Bicentennial 

At the time of Washington's first election, John Lang- 
don was president of Congress. In this capacity he 
wrote Washington the letter of notification which was 
taken to Mount Vernon by Charles Thomson, then sec- 
retary of Congress. Washington's certificate of elec- 
tion also was signed by Langdon. 

When Washington made his good will tour of the 
New England States in 1789, he visited New Hamp- 
shire. The President arrived in Portsmouth on Saturday, 
October 31, and left there Wednesday morning, No- 
vember 4. During his stay in the city he was favorably 
impressed with the people, and records in his journal 
that he was "received with every token of respect and 
appearance of cordiality." His old friend and com- 
panion in arms, John Sullivan, was then president of the 
State. While in Portsmouth, President Washington in- 
spected the harbor and was surprised at its admirable 
situation. In his diary he notes that, "Having Lines, 
we proceeded to the Fishing banks a little without the 
Harbour, and fished for Cod; but it not being a proper 
time of tide, we only caught two." 

Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War 

In the churchyard of the Old Presbyterian Meeting 
House of Alexandria, Va., lies the tomb of the Unknown 
Soldier of the Revolutionary War. Few people out- 
side of the immediate vicinity of Alexandria know of 
the existence of this tomb or of the interesting story 
connected with it. But with the commemorating exer- 
cises, which are scheduled for Sunday afternoon, 
October 19, 1930, on the one hundred and forty-ninth 

News Releases 571 

anniversary of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis to the 
French and American troops at Yorktown, this hitherto 
almost unknown tomb will receive the attention and 
recognition of America. 

It will be a notable gathering that will assemble this 
Sunday afternoon to honor the memory of the Revo- 
lutionary War dead by the outward manifestation of 
respect and reverence at the tomb of the Unknown 
Soldier of the Revolution. Patriotic societies of France 
and America, and officials from both countries, will 
participate in the ceremonies honoring this unknown 
follower of George Washington. 

The French Republic will be represented. In the 
name of France, our sister Republic, her representative 
will place a wreath on the tomb of this unknown hero 
of the Revolutionary War. This act will serve to com- 
memorate that glorious French-American alliance of 
150 years ago, the alliance which aided so much in estab- 
lishing American independence. 

On behalf of the Children of the American Revo- 
lution, who raised the funds to erect the tomb of this 
Unknown Soldier, Ann Carter Waller, of the Ann 
McCarty Ramsay Chapter of the society, will also place 
a wreath on the grave. 

The Washington Society of Alexandria will be 
represented by a committee which includes the Hon. 
R. Walton Moore, Representative from Virginia and 
a member of the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission by presidental appointment; 
William B. McGroarty, president of the Washington 
Society of Alexandria; and Charles H. Callahan, past 
grand master of the Masons of the State of Virginia. 

572 Washington Bicentennial 

The Washington Society was formed by personal 
friends of George Washington soon after his death, 
and many of its members today are direct descendants 
of its founders. 

The grave of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution 
has a thrilling history. The Division of Information 
and Publication of the United States George Wash- 
ington Bicentennial Commission presents here the high- 
lights of the story. St. Mary's Catholic Church bought 
some land adjoining the Presbyterian burial ground in 
Alexandria. In excavating to lay a foundation for an 
edifice, the workers unwittingly extended the line of 
excavation to include a small strip of the Presbyterian 
churchyard. While digging, workmen struck some- 
thing which obviously was not a rock. Examination 
showed that they had unearthed a wooden ammunition 
box the size of a coffin. Upon opening the box, to the 
great astonishment of the workmen, they found the 
body of a soldier dressed in the uniform of the 
Continental Army. 

Who was this soldier? How did he get there? The 
church had no record of such a burial. The remnants 
of his clothing revealed no mark of identification. All 
that was known was that he died wearing the uniform 
of the Continental Army. Here was an Unknown 
Soldier of the American Revolutionary War! 

Alexandria had been a hospitalization point during 
the Revolutionary War. The wounded were brought 
there either to recover or die. This soldier probably 
had been wounded and sent to Alexandria for treat- 
ment, where he died. Apparently he was buried 
hurriedly, an ammunition box being used for a coffin. 

News Releases 573 

This Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution 
was reverently reintered near the spot from which his 
body had been exhumed. An entry marking the exact 
location of burial was made in the records of the Old 
Presbyterian Church, and thereafter it became the 
custom of the community to decorate the grave from 
time to time. 

A hundred years after the discovering of the body, 
the National Society of the Children of the American 
Revolution, under the leadership of Mrs. Josiah Van 
Orsdel, undertook to raise funds to erect a permanent 
monument over the grave of the Unknown Soldier of 
the Revolution. This monument was erected in April 
of 1929. The late James W. Good, then Secretary of 
War, delivered the dedicatory address. Thus 101 years 
after the discovery of the body, and some 150 years 
after the soldier's death, the grave and memory of this 
unknown hero were honored. 

Unlike the Unknown Soldier's tomb of the World 
War at Arlington, this tomb of the Unknown Soldier 
of the Revolution in Alexandria bears an inscription. 
This inscription, composed by the Hon. William Tyler 
Page, is an inspired sentiment, which reads as follows: 

"Here lies a soldier hero of the Revolution whose 
identity is known but to God. 

"His was an idealism that recognized a Supreme 
Being, that planted religious liberty on our shores, that 
overthrew despotism, that established a people's govern- 
ment, that wrote a Constitution setting metes and 
bounds of delegated authority, that fixed a standard of 
value upon men above gold, and that lifted high the 
torch of civil liberty along the pathway of mankind. 

574 Washington Bicentennial 

"In ourselves his soul exists as a part of ours, his 
Memory's Mansion." 

A movement is now under way by the District of 
Columbia Chapter of the Sons of the Revolution to 
create a colonial environment for this tomb in order 
that it may stand as a national shrine for all time. It 
is expected to complete the final stages of this work in 
time for the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of 
George Washington in 1932. 

Maine in the Revolutionary War 

The story of Maine's participation in the Revolu- 
tionary War is an account of the devotion and 
patriotism of a people determined to be free. The 
future Pine Tree State, then a part of Massachusetts, 
responded to the call to arms with no hesitancy or 
delay, and many of her sons gave their lives on distant 
battle fields. 

Henry Knox, one of the most distinguished patriots 
of the Revolutionary War period, was born in Boston, 
but became a son of Maine by adoption. It was in 
Thomaston that he made his home upon retirement 
from public life. 

Engaged in his profession of bookseller in Boston, 
Knox was among the first to take up arms at the begin- 
ning of the war, and at Bunker Hill rendered distin- 
guished service as a private in the defense of the Ameri- 
can position. When Washington, with his commission 
as Commander in Chief of the Continental Armies, 
came to Boston to assume the leadership of the troops, 
Knox was there to offer his services in any capacity in 
which he was needed. 

News Releases 575 

Perhaps the most spectacular exploit of the entire 
military career of the former bookseller was his trans- 
portation to Boston of the cannon taken by Allen and 
Arnold at Ticonderoga. Washington was seriously 
handicapped throughout the entire siege by lack of 
powder and artillery, and the value of the cannon he 
thus received can not be overestimated. The enterprise 
and courage which Knox displayed in dragging the 
captured guns over the snow-covered mountains and 
frozen Lake Champlain earned the respect and admira- 
tion of the Commander in Chief, and he was placed in 
command of the artillery. Knox may justly be con- 
sidered the father of this branch of the army. 

From Boston Knox accompanied the army to New 
York. After the defeats which the Americans suf- 
fered in the New York campaign, including the loss 
of Forts Washington and Lee, the American Army re- 
treated across the Jerseys and seemed likely to dissolve. 
Washington planned and carried out the attack on 
Trenton and Princeton as a means of bolstering the 
waning morale of the entire country. In these suc- 
cessful raids Knox was an important factor, for, with 
Glover, he supervised the transportation of the troops 
across the ice- jammed Delaware. 

His services were recognized by Congress, and he 
was advanced to the rank of brigadier general. At 
Monmouth Knox further distinguished himself, and at 
Yorktown, the final great battle of the war, he was in 
charge of the American artillery, which did so much 
damage to the town in which Lord Cornwallis had 
fortified himself. It was the well-directed bombard- 
ment, by both the French and Americans, of the British 

576 Washington Bicentennial 

stronghold there that battered down the fortifications 
and made the place untenable. 

After the war General Knox was among the fore- 
most to advocate the establishment of a strong central 
government. His views were clearly expressed in a 
letter to Washington, in which he pointed out the 
inefficiency of a confederation such as the one under 
which the war had been carried on. When the Con- 
stitution was completed and presented to the States 
for ratification, Knox was one of its most earnest 

When Washington became the head of the new 
Government as its first President, he proceeded to the 
formation of hft Cabinet. Knox had been acting as 
the head of the War Department, and in that capacity 
he was retained by the President. In the controversies 
which divided the Cabinet he stood with Hamilton in 
the support of a national bank and other projects which 
came to be regarded as particular interests of the Fed- 
eralist Party. He was, however a friend of Jefferson, 
and, with him, helped to establish the United States 
Navy to put an end to the piracy which was seriously 
injuring American shipping in the Mediterranean. 
Knox may also be said to be the father of the present 
militia system of this country. 

From the moment of their first acquaintance a 
friendship sprang up between Washington and Knox, 
which terminated only with the death of the first Presi- 
dent. Their mutual esteem and admiration may be 
seen in the many letters which passed between them. 

Another son of the Pine Tree State, which till 1820 
was a part of Massachusetts, who attained eminence in 

News Releases 577 

the service of his country, although in a different 
sphere, was William Cushing, prominent lawyer of 
Lincoln County. Judge Cushing was appointed Asso- 
ciate Justice of the Supreme Court by Washington in 
1789. He held this position until his death in 1810. 

From the bays and harbors of Maine many ships were 
built or equipped and sent out as privateers to wreak 
havoc on the British shipping. It is said, indeed, that 
the first English naval officer to lose his life in the Revo- 
lution was Captain Moore, killed in the harbor at 
Machias in a fight between the Margaritta and the 
American sloop afterward* known as the Liberty. 

It is impossible in a limited space to name all the 
sons of Maine who took part in various capacities in 
the Revolutionary War, but, if assembled, they would 
present an imposing list. They all combined their efforts 
under the leadership of George Washington to win 
the freedom of their country and establish its 

In the celebration next year of the two hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of George Washington a 
prominent part may, and undoubtedly will, be played 
by the great Pine Tree State. Her people rallied to 
the support of the man commissioned to lead the Revo- 
lutionary armies and the cooperation was continued 
when he was called to fill the presidential chair. The 
same spirit which actuated the country at that time, 
and which is the inspiration of the forthcoming com- 
memoration, can not but make itself evident in Maine 
as well as in all the other States of the Nation founded 
by George Washington. 

578 Washington Bicentennial 

Anniversary of Ticonderoga 

Early in the morning of May 10, 1775, the "Green 
Mountain Boys" of Vermont, numbering less than 90 
and led by Ethan Allen, surprised and captured the 
British garrison at Fort Ticonderoga. Included in the 
capture were 200 cannon, which Henry Knox later 
dragged over the mountains to Boston, where they were 
used to good advantage by General Washington in his 
siege of that city. 

The spectacular attack on Ticonderoga occurred less 
than a month after the opening gun of the Revolu- 
tionary War was fired at Lexington. It was carried 
out by men who appreciated the grim significance of 
the event, and who were determined not to turn back 
until independence had been won. The spirit which 
actuated the attackers was clearly shown in their re- 
fusal to forsake the enterprise when Allen gave each 
one the opportunity to withdraw just before the attack 
was made. 

When the Americans had forced their way into the 
fort, they proceeded to the quarters of the commandant, 
De La Place. Colonel Allen confronted the Briton 
with the demand for his surrender. According to 
Washington Irving in his "Life of Washington," La 
Place wished to know by what authority the demand 
was made and received the now immortal reply, "In the 
name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Con- 
gress." Resistance appearing futile, the garrison sur- 
rendered and Ticonderoga passed into the possession of 
the Americans. 

News Releases 579 

Kentucky's Admission to the Union 

Kentucky, admitted to the Union June 1, 1792, was 
the second of three States to gain statehood during the 
administrations of President George Washington. It is, 
therefore, a matter of pride to the people of the Blue 
Grass State that Kentucky was one of those common- 
wealths which came into the Union in the first great 
expansion of the United States after the adoption of the 

The bicentenary observance of Washington's birth 
will begin officially on February 22, next, and will con- 
tinue until Thanksgiving Day. During that time the 
most important dates in the history of this country will 
be signalized by special commemorative programs which 
will be linked up with the George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Celebration. It is in this connection that the 
anniversary of Kentucky's admission to statehood as- 
sumes its peculiar significance next year. The 140th 
anniversary of the entrance of the Blue Grass State into 
the Union thus coincides with the 200th anniversary 
of George Washington's birth, and will be a most ap- 
propriate occasion for the people of Kentucky to cele- 

In the period preceding the Revolution and during 
the war itself, Kentucky was hardly more than an out- 
post on the edge of this country's western frontier. It 
formed a part of Virginia's possessions, and was roamed 
by trapper, hunter, and redskin, although settlers were 
streaming in from Virginia. 

At the close of the Revolution, the territory now in- 
cluded in the boundaries of the Blue Grass State was 
part of Virginia and was known as the Kentucky dis- 

580 Washington Bicentennial 

trict. After the Constitution was approved and the 
United States adopted a full-fledged Federal Govern- 
ment, the people of Kentucky began to seek admission 
as a State. An agreement was made with Virginia in 
compliance with law, and Kentucky formally presented 
her petition for statehood in the closing months of 1790. 

In his message to Congress, December 8, 1790, Presi- 
dent Washington said: 

"Since your last session I have received communica- 
tions by which it appears that the district of Kentucky, 
at present a part of Virginia, has concurred in certain 
propositions contained in a law of that State, in con- 
sequence of which the district is to become a distinct 
member of the Union, in case the requisite sanction of 
Congress be added. For this sanction application is now 
made. I shall cause the papers on this very important 
transaction to be laid before you. The liberality and 
harmony with which it has been conducted will be found 
to do great honor to both parties, and the sentiments 
of warm attachment to the Union and its present Gov- 
ernment expressed by our fellow-citizens of Kentucky 
can not fail to add an affectionate concern for their par- 
ticular welfare to the great national impressions under 
which you will decide on the case submitted to you." 

The celebration next year of the two hundredth an- 
niversary of the birth of George Washington will be 
nation-wide in every sense of the word. It has been 
planned to include every person in the United States 
and will provide suitable programs for various occasions 
to be held in all schoolhouses, churches and other meet- 
ing places. It will not be concentrated in any form, 
in any locality. 

News Releases 581 

In the Act of Congress which created the United 
States George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 
every State was invited to name its own local group to 
cooperate with the national body. Kentucky has as- 
sured the success of the commemoration of Washing- 
ton's birth so far as the people of the Blue Grass State 
are concerned by creating an executive committee con- 
sisting of: Hon. W. A. Thommason, Paris; Hon. W. B. 
Ardery, Paris; Judge John F. Hagar, Ashland; Col. 
Lorain Whiteley, Owensboro; Mrs. A. T. Hert, Louis- 
ville; Mrs. Stella Star key, Pikeville; Editor Woods, Mt. 
Sterling; Editor Thomas, Liberty; Colonel Forgey, Ash- 
land; Editor Chandler, Barbourville; Editor Alex B. 
Combs, Hazard; Col. Noel Gaines, Frankfort; Mrs. 
Hugh L. Rose, Louisville; and Mrs. Stanley Reed, Mays- 

In addition, there is a citizens' committee of: R. C. 
Ballard Thruston, Louisville; Mrs. James Darnell, Frank- 
fort; Hon. John Deidrich, Ashland; Mrs. W. T. Laf- 
ferty, Lexington; Mrs. Jouett Cannon, Frankfort; Dr. 
William H. Townsend, Lexington; Miss Mary Mason 
Scott, Frankfort; Mrs. William L. Lyons, Louisville; 
Adm. Hugh Rodman, Washington, D. C; James L. 
Isenberg, Harrodsburg; Temple Bodley, Louisville; Mrs. 
George R. Hunt, Lexington; Mrs. W. T. Fowler, Lex- 
ington; Mrs. Edmond Post, Paducah; Mrs. Clyde E. 
Purcell, Paducah; Mrs. William Rhodes, Lexington; Mrs. 
Graham Lawrence, Shelbyville; Mrs. George Madden 
Martin, Louisville; Mrs. Mary Stallins Ray, St. Mat- 
thews; Rev. James D. Gibson, Covington; Ernest B. 
Dunkie, Covington; Dean Martha Tull, Georgetown; 
Frank L. McVey, Lexington; Mrs. Bos well Pierce, New 

582 Washington Bicentennial 

Castle; C. Frank Dunn, Frankfort; H. H. Fuson, Har- 
lan; Col. William Monroe Wright, Lexington; Capt. 
Martin Rice, Carrollton. 

Tennessee's Admission to the Union 

Tennessee was one of the three States to enter the 
Union in the first expansion of the United States fol- 
lowing the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and 
therefore enjoys the distinction of being admitted under 
an enabling act approved by President George Wash- 
ington. The Volunteer State became a full-fledged unit 
of this Nation June 1, 1796. 

The great nation-wide commemoration in honor of 
George Washington, which will commence next year 
on February 22 and continue until Thanksgiving Day, 
has been planned to include every person in the United 
States and to reach even the remotest hamlet in the 
country. It will not be concentrated as an exposition 
or similar affair in any community, but will be the out- 
pouring of a nation's gratitude for its founder. 

The Volunteer State was formed out of the western 
part of North Carolina, and was settled before the Revo- 
lutionary War by pioneers, who, being far from the 
mother State, set up their own government under John 
Sevier, the most colorful figure in the early history of 
Tennessee. When the Revolution began, the territory 
was named Washington District, and the people pledged 
themselves for their share of the war expenses of the 
United Colonies. 

The battle of King's Mountain, which some histo- 
rians have termed the turning point of the war, was 
fought by a detachment consisting mainly of Tennes- 

News Releases 583 

seans under the leadership of Sevier, Isaac Shelby, and 
William Campbell, against a force of loyalists com- 
manded by Col. Patrick Ferguson. The engagement 
was one of the most sanguinary conflicts of the entire 
war, and resulted in the death of Ferguson and the com- 
plete destruction of his command. Cornwallis was se- 
riously crippled by this loss of men who were counted 
on to augment the British regular army. 

Ferguson's sword and sash are now among the relics 
of the Tennessee Historical Society, at Nashville, to- 
gether with the gun with which he was killed. 

In 1784 North Carolina ceded to the United States 
all the territory now embraced in the State of Tennes- 
see, but no arrangements for government satisfactory 
to the frontiersmen being made, the people decided to 
take the matter in their own hands. There were then 
three counties in the district and each one sent delegates 
to a convention at Jamesborough. John Sevier was 
elected president of the body and another convention 
was called to form a constitution and put the machinery 
of the new government in motion. The constitution of 
North Carolina was adopted for the time and the new 
State was called Franklin. Sevier was named governor, 
and all other necessary officers were elected. 

At this point North Carolina took a hand in affairs 
and the people were ordered to return to the allegiance 
of the mother State. Sevier tried to persuade North 
Carolina to recognize the independence of the new State, 
and sought the approval of Congress. In both attempts 
he failed, and in 1788 his arrest resulted in the collapse 
of his government. A pardon was soon granted to all 
who had taken part in the formation of Franklin, and 

584 Washington Bicentennial 

Sevier was elected to the North Carolina senate and re- 
stored to his former military rank. 

When North Carolina became a State, Tennessee was 
again ceded to the national government. After consid- 
erable difficulty with the Indians and Spanish traders, 
a constitution was formed, and the people asked admis- 
sion to the Union. Andrew Jackson was a member of 
the constitution committee, and is said to have suggested 
the name of Tennessee for the new State. 

President George Washington approved the enabling 
act admitting Tennessee to statehood on June 1, 1796. 
John Sevier was again selected to head the government, 
and became the first governor of the State. 

First Washington's Birthday Celebration West of 
the Mississippi 

The first public celebration of George Washington's 
birthday west of the Mississippi River took place in 
Saint Louis, Mo., 114 years ago. 

Although Washington's birthday was not made a 
legal holiday in the State of Missouri until 1879, public 
celebrations were held throughout the State every year 
as far back as 1817, the year of the first public celebra- 
tion. Floyd C. Shoemaker, of the Missouri State His- 
torical Society, is authority for this claim. 

Missouri was a territory in 1817; St. Louis was the 
leading city. On February 22 of that year the lead- 
ing citizens of the city met to honor the birthday of 
the Father of His Country. 

The master of ceremonies was William Clark, the man 
who, with Meriwether Lewis in 1804, made the famous 
expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean, thereby 

News Releases 585 

establishing the claim of the United States to the great 

All the prominent men of St. Louis participated in 
the ceremonies. Henry S. Geyer, who played a promi- 
nent part as counsel in the historic Dred Scott Case, and 
who, in 1851, defeated Thomas Hart Benton for a seat 
in the United States Senate, was one of the toastmasters. 
Wilburn W. Boggs, who became governor of Missouri 
in 1836, also took part in the toasting exercises on that 

The building in which the public dinner was held was 
located on the southwest corner of Main and Pine 
Streets. This building was erected the year before, in 
1816, and was the first brick building of St. Louis for 
public use. 

The "edifice" was two stories high. On the ground 
floor were store rooms; and the upper floor was occu- 
pied by a "hotel" or, what one writer referred to as 
"Kibby's new boarding house." It was in the rooms 
of this hotel or boarding house, have it which way you 
will, that George Washington's birthday was first cele- 
brated west of the Mississippi. 

Mary Alicia Owen, authority of Missouri social cus- 
toms, tells us how early Missourians celebrated Washing- 
ton's birthday. She wrote: 

"The Father of His Country, who was a great dandy 
in his time, . . . would feel honored if he knew how 
many hundreds of balls this State has given in his honor, 
and how many thousands of young Missourians have, for 
such revels, arrayed themselves in costumes which were 
copies of his and his Martha." 

5 $6 Washington Bicentennial 

When Delaware Ratified 

To the people of the State of Delaware the date 
December 7 is of particular significance, for it is the 
anniversary of Delaware's ratification of the United 
States Constitution. The event assumes added impor- 
tance in the light of the fact that the Diamond State 
was the first of the original thirteen States to ap- 
prove this great document. Despite her small size, 
Delaware had loyally contributed to the Revolution in 
men and money. In the person of John Dickinson she 
presented one of the great statesmen of the period whose 
influence was to be felt throughout the Nation. 

After the War of Independence, when the erstwhile 
Colonies of Great Britain found themselves free from 
the mother country, they discovered that all their prob- 
lems were not yet settled. In fact, the question of what 
to do with their independence now appeared as a per- 
plexity, which, for a time, threatened to plunge the new 
Nation into the chaos of anarchy — a prospect far less 
inviting than subjection to the British crown. The 
leaders of political thought and philosophy were divided 
in opinion as to the form of government which should 
be attempted, although it was apparent to all that the 
old Articles of Confederation were wholly inadequate 
to meet the needs of the new Nation. The people them- 
selves were influenced in their opinions by sectional in- 
terests, while the States, with their jealousies and re- 
stricted ideas of local sovereignty, presented anything 
but an appearance of national unity. 

Men talked /much in those days of democracy, 
republics, and the rule of the people. America's 
enemies abroad, seeing the disorder, confidently pre- 

News Releases 587 

dieted the collapse of what political structures the 
country did possess, and then sat back to await the 
crash. Some prominent statesmen here talked of 
monarchy and an American nobility. At one time, 
before the close of the war, George Washington was 
approached with a proposal to make him king, a sug- 
gestion so repugnant to him that he replied to it in 
such indignant terms as to leave no doubt with regard 
to his position in the matter. At last the situation 
became so acute that a convention was called to con- 
sider and effect a revision of the Articles of 

This convention, growing out of the Annapolis 
Convention, which had been called by Virginia to settle 
trade disputes in 1786, met in Philadelphia in the sum- 
mer of 1787. It comprised in its personnel most of 
the luminaries of the country — it was a noteworthy 
assemblage of America's foremost talent and ability. 
George Washington, the great Commander in Chief of 
the Revolutionary forces, was elected President, and 
the momentous discussion was soon under way. Among 
the members of this great body were Benjamin Franklin 
from Pennsylvania, James Madison from Virginia, Alex- 
ander Hamilton from New York, William Patterson 
from New Jersey, Luther Martin from Maryland, and 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney from South Carolina. 
Deleware sent the following delegates: George Read, 
Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Dickinson, Richard Basset t, 
and Jacob Broom. 

The story of that summer of bitter debate, of 
proposals, and compromises is so well known as to need 
no review. The convention was held behind closed 

588 Washington Bicentennial 

doors, so that no one except the delegates themselves 
knew what was going on. It was taken for granted by 
the people that the Articles of Confederation were to 
be revised, and no one expected the formulation of an 
entirely new Constitution. But, after the deliberations 
began, the delegates soon realized that the strong cen- 
tral power now so definitely needed could never be 
built on the foundation of the old Confederation. Thus 
it was that out of the long weeks of mighty effort ap- 
peared the Federal Constitution — an innovation and an 
experiment in government. 

The completed document was sent to the States for 
ratification on September 28, 1787, and then began 
another great struggle, this time to secure the approval 
of at least nine of the States, which constituted the 
necessary majority to put the Constitution into effect. 
It was not at all certain that this approval could be 
readily obtained, for although the Constitution had been 
signed by delegates from 12 of the States, it was gen- 
erally known that opposition would be encountered in 
many localities. Therefore most of the men who had 
been members of the convention returned to their 
homes to battle for ratification. 

One of these delegates, as has been seen, was 
Delaware's own John Dickinson, who had taken a 
prominent part in the convention. He wrote a series 
of nine pamphlets, signed "Fabius," in which he dis- 
cussed the Constitution and urged its adoption. When 
George Washington read these pamphlets and before 
he knew the identity of their author, he wrote his ap- 
proval of the sound political thought and argument 
which they contained. Dickinson's efforts were an out- 

News Releases 589 

standing contribution to the political literature of the 
time and undoubtedly went far to influence the popular 
mind in favor of the Constitution. 

There was some opposition to the work of the 
convention in all of the States, but it seems to have been 
negligible in Delaware, where the legislature met on 
October 24 and immediately adopted measures to call 
a convention for the purpose of adopting the Consti- 
tution. This conclave met at Dover the first week in 
December and acted with surprising dispatch. The 
resolution of ratification was unanimously passed on 
December 7, 1787, and Delaware became the first 
state to adopt the Federal Constitution. Only two 
other states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, took action 
that year. Delaware's notification of approval read as 

"We the deputation of the people of Delaware State 
in convention met, having taken into serious considera- 
tion the Federal Constitution proposed and agreed upon 
by the deputies of the United States in a general con- 
vention held at the city of Philadelphia on the seven- 
teenth day of September in the year of our Lord 1787, 
have approved, assented to, ratified and confirmed, and 
by these presents do, in virtue of the power and author- 
ity to us given for that purpose for and on behalf of 
our constituents, fully, freely, and entirely approve of, 
assent to, ratify, and affirm the said convention." 

Delaware, known as the Diamond State because of 
its small size and great value, held the first election 
under the new Constitution in January, 1789. At this 
time the presidential electors, Gunning Bedford, George 
Mitchell, and John Mitchell, were chosen. All three of 

590 Washington Bicentennial 

these men cast their votes for Washington and John Jay. 
At the same election John Vining was selected Repre- 
sentative and George Read and Richard Bassett became 
the first Senators from Delaware. 

Always progressive and public spirited, Delaware 
was one of the first States to fall in line with the pro- 
gram outlined by the United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission for the great celebration in 
1932 of the two hundredth anniversary of George 
Washington's birth. Acting on the invitation of Con- 
gress to appoint a State commission, Gov. C. Douglas 
Buck appointed the following to the Diamond State 
Commission: Hon. Robert P. Robinson, of Wilmington; 
Hon. Charles H. Grantland, of Dover; W. A. Speak- 
man, of Wilmington; D. M. Wilson, of Dover; Herman 
C. Taylor, of Dover; W. F. Allen, of Seaford; Leroy 
Cramer, of Wilmington; J. Gilpin Highfield, of Wil- 
mington; Hervey P. Hall, of Smyrna, Joseph H. Cox, 
of Seaford; William Winthrup, of Wilmington; Wm. 
E. Virden, of Wilmington; James W. Carrow, of 
Dover; W. O. Cubbage, of Wyoming; and Thomas C. 
Curry, of Greenwood. 

In order to effect the plans for State participation, 
the Legislature of Delaware authorized an appropria- 
tion of $5,000, again pointing the way, for this was 
one of the first instances of definite action on the part 
of any of the States. 

The history of Delaware is a source of pride to all 
her people. From the very first, this little State on 
the Atlantic seaboard played an active and important 
part in the forming of the United States. George 
Washington was a frequent visitor there during his long 

News Releases 591 

career of public service, and his diaries contain particu- 
lar references to entertainments held in his honor in 
Wilmington and other cities. The significance of Dela- 
ware's prompt approval of the great instrument of 
government, which was framed under the direction of 
the Father of His Country, is noted with satisfaction on 
the occasion of the one hundred and forty-third anni- 
versary of that event. 

South Carolina's Heroes of the Revolution 

When Charles II granted to some of his nobles a 
great area south of Virginia, the recipients of this mag- 
nificent gift evinced their appreciation by naming the 
territory Carolina in honor of their monarch. If the 
unfortuate king could have foreseen the defiance of 
royal authority by some of the people of this new 
Colony in the American Revolution, perhaps he would 
have held back his charter. The vast territory included 
in this original Carolina grant has since been formed 
into several States of the Union, two of which, North 
and South Carolina, still bear the name first given in 
honor of the sovereign. 

The State of South Carolina contributed to the cause 
of independence some of the most active patriots of the 
Revolutionary period. Among those from the Palmetto 
State who were associated with George Washington in 
the establishment of this country were officers of merit 
and ability, statesmen of sagacity and foresight, and 
numerous loyal, devoted patriots who contributed their 
best in lesser capacities. 

Separation from the mother country was an issue 
upon which the people of South Carolina were divided. 

592 Washington Bicentennial 

Along the coasts and in the larger communities senti- 
ment was generally in favor of a break with England, 
while in the interior such action was opposed. The 
patriots were so determined, however, that no obstacle 
could stop them. Despite the prevalent toryism the 
Palmetto State finally emerged, battered but trium- 
phant, from the bitter struggle of the Revolution. 

For some years prior to the Revolution, the govern- 
ment of South Carolina had been administered by a 
series of royal governors, the last of whom was Lord 
William Campbell. This official found his position diffi- 
cult, for the Colony was virtually in rebellion when he 
arrived in Charleston June 18, 1775. In November of 
the previous year the citizens of Charleston had held 
a tea party of their own similar to the celebrated affair 
in the harbor at Boston. On April 21, two days after 
the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and long before 
the news could reach the southern Colonies, when it 
appeared that hostilities were inevitable, the patriots 
seized public stores consisting largely of guns and am- 
munition. A short time later the Carolinians captured 
a British ship loaded with powder intended for the 
Indians, and part of this much needed article was sent 
to aid the patriots in the siege of Boston. 

When Governor Campbell attempted to execute the 
orders that he received from England, he encountered 
such intense opposition that he was forced to take refuge 
on a British warship. From this point he attempted to 
incite the Indians and Tories to form a combination 
against the patriots. September 15, 1775, Fort Johnson 
was occupied by the patriots and South Carolina had 
gone too far to turn back. In this exploit was displayed 

News Releases 593 

the first American flag used in South Carolina — a silver 
crescent on a blue field. 

To the First Continental Congress the Palmetto 
State sent a very able delegation, including such leaders 
as John Rutledge, Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch, 
Christopher Gadsden, and Edward Rutledge. Middle- 
ton was elected president of Congress after Randolph, 
of Virginia, had been forced to retire because of his 
illness. Of John Rutledge, Patrick Henry wrote that 
he was by far the best orator in the assemblage. Each 
of these men took a prominent and active part in the 
Congress, and Gadsden was one of the first to advocate 
drastic action against the forces of General Gage in 

Not until the latter part of the Revolution did the 
military situation in South Carolina become acute. 
During the earlier years of the war the British were 
kept at bay, but when operations were transferred to 
the southern Colonies, with the idea of striking a de- 
cisive blow in that quarters, affairs became critical in 
the Palmetto State. Charleston, after successfully re- 
sisting several attacks, was finally forced to surrender 
to the British in May, 1780, the year when hopes were 
darkest for the southerners. 

The royalists and Tories, emboldened by Clinton's 
success, took up arms against the patriots. The British 
and partisan troops of Lord Rawdon and Tarleton were 
left to maraud and plunder the country, and there was 
reason to fear that the South was doomed to subjugation. 

However, the situation soon changed. The success 
of the British was short-lived, for the exploits of 
Marion and Sumter soon turned the tide. No more 

594 Washington Bicentennial 

gallant soldiers took part in the Revolution, and to their 
efforts must be given much of the credit for the failure 
of the English campaign in the South. 

Francis Marion is one of the most spectacular and 
romantic figures of the Revolution. He was universally 
admired for his integrity, ability, courage, and rare 
sweetness of disposition. From the commencement of 
hostilities he took an active part in the armies of South 
Carolina. He had learned military strategy in rough 
country as an Indian fighter. Later this experience 
was to prove exceedingly valuable to his State and to 
his country. 

Before the investment of Charleston was completed 
by the British in May, 1780, Colonel Marion was attend- 
ing a party with a number of friends, when the host 
turned the key on his guests in order that none might 
leave as long as the wine held out. The Colonel did not 
drink and, not wishing to disturb the party, he decided 
to leave quietly. When no one was looking, he opened 
the window and leaped from the room. In the dark- 
ness he was unable to gauge the distance to the ground 
and, as a result of his leap, he sustained a broken ankle. 
This proved a most fortunate occurrence, for it caused 
Marion's removal from the beleaguered city while there 
was yet a way out. Hence he was not captured, and his 
future services were saved for his country. 

Tarleton called Marion the "Swamp Fox," and this 
sobriquet stuck with him throughout the war. The 
Briton used this appellation because of Marion's meth- 
ods of fighting. He usually commanded a force which, 
if worsted in a fight, had the faculty of disappearing 
completely, only to reassemble at a point somewhat dis- 

News Releases 595 

tant from the fray. It was this peculiar quality of 
rapidly disbanding and reorganizing that made Marion's 
corps so effective against the British. 

On one occasion, after having led the indefatigable 
Tarleton a long and fruitless chase, the British cavalry 
leader is said to have remarked: "Come, boys, let us go 
back and find the gamecock (Sumter) ; as for this 

d d swamp fox, the devil himself could not catch 


Marion continued in active service throughout the 
entire war and had a hand in nearly all the major battles 
in the southern Colonies. At the close of the Revolu- 
tion he was elected to the South Carolina State Senate 
and took part in framing a constitution for South 
Carolina. However, his private affairs had suffered 
severely during the war, and he was forced to retire 
from public life. Before he left the senate he was con- 
spicuous for his advocacy of humane measures toward 
the Tories, and he was energetic in his condemnation 
of the confiscation act of 1782. Marion's character 
was spotless, and he enjoyed the respect and admiration 
of all who knew him. An intrepid fighter, he was un- 
failingly kind and considerate, and no instance of 
cruelty or rapacity has ever been cited against him. He 
was an excellent example of American manhood. 

One of the most heroic military figures of South 
Carolina during the Revolutionary War was William 
Moultrie, the gallant defender of Fort Sullivan. 
Moultrie was one of the first to realize the important 
strategic position of this island outside of Charleston 
and was responsible for its fortification. In a great 
battle, June 28, 1776, Moultrie repulsed, with but a 

596 Washington Bicentennial 

handful of men, an attack by a British fleet, which was 
badly damaged. 

It was this successful defense of Fort Sullivan that 
kept the South free from invasion until the later years 
of the war. The post was renamed Fort Moultrie in 
honor of its brave defender, who was also voted the 
thanks of Congress. 

Thomas Sumter, the "Carolina gamecock," was 
another partisan from the Palmetto State whose activi- 
ties distressed the British in the South. His methods 
were similar to those employed by Marion, and his 
spectacular exploits kept Cornwallis and Tarleton in 
continual difficulty. He lived to be 98, and at his death 
in 1832 was the last surviving officer of the Revolu- 
tionary War. 

One of the most important and spectacular battles 
of the Revolutionary War was the engagement at Kings 
Mountain on October 7, 1780. This battle has some- 
times been called the turning point of the American 
Revolution. Certainly it was one of the most potent 
factors in the withdrawal of Cornwallis to Yorktown, 
where the war practically ended. The American force 
was chiefly composed of men from the new West, later 
the State of Tennessee, under Shelby, Sevier, and Camp- 
bell. Their assault on the strong position held by the 
loyalist militia, commanded by Ferguson, is a striking 
example of American valor and courage. Ferguson 
himself was killed, and so severe was the loss sustained 
by the loyalists that they never again were able seriously 
to threaten affairs in South Carolina. 

No consideration of South Carolina in the Revolution 
would be complete without mention of the Pinkneys, 

News Releases 597 

the Middletons, and Henry and John Laurens. The 
latter was the son of Henry Laurens, and his exploits 
earned him the title of the "Bayard of the Revolution." 
Washington once wrote of this young man: "He had 
not a fault that I could discover unless it were intrepid- 
ity bordering upon rashness." He served with com- 
mendable gallantry throughout the Revolution, but his 
life came to a tragic end in a minor skirmish with the 
British in 1782. 

Charles Cotesworth Pinkney also should be mentioned 
as one of the outstanding patriots of the Palmetto State. 
His character is indicated in the remark he made when 
the Directory of France intimated that trouble with 
that country might be averted if the United States were 
willing to pay. Pinkney's terse reply to this ignominious 
suggestion is said to have been: "Millions for defense 
but not one cent for tribute." Again he showed his true 
caliber when he received an appointment as major gen- 
eral next to Alexander Hamilton in the army which 
Washington was forming in 1798 for use against the 
French in case hostilities developed. When reminded 
that Hamilton had been his junior in the Revolution, 
Pinkey replied: "Let us first dispose of our enemies; we 
shall then have the leisure to settle the case of rank." 

It would be impossible to name and consider all the 
distinguished men from South Carolina who so admir- 
ably served the interests of their country in the Revolu- 
tion, but the name of John Rutledge, appointed by 
Washington to the highest tribunal in the Nation, must 
be mentioned. Certain it is that the people of the 
Palmetto State have every justification for pride in their 

598 Washington Bicentennial 

contribution to their country in that great struggle for 

Acting on the invitation of the Congress of the 
United States in the statute creating the National Com- 
mission to all the States and territories to create State 
and local bicentennial commissions South Carolina, in 
1930, appointed a commission, thus evincing the interest 
of the Palmetto State in the celebration of George Wash- 
ington's two hundredth birthday anniversary and 
promising cooperation from this southern common- 

The men who came from South Carolina to serve in 
various capacities associated with George Washington 
in the Revolution were respected and admired by the 
great first President. They greatly contributed to the 
establishment of this country and deservedly occupy 
prominent places in the annals of American history. 

New Hampshire Ratifies 

June 21 is a date of patriotic interest to New Hamp- 
shire and of importance to the whole United States, 
for on that date the Granite State ratified the new Con- 
stitution of the United States, thus making it the legal 
groundwork of the new American Government. Rati- 
fication by nine States was necessary before the Con- 
stitution could be put into effect and New Hampshire 
was the ninth State to come into the fold. 

By June 21, 1788, eight of the States of the original 
13 had ratified the Constitution. New Hampshire was 
the ninth to hold its convention for its adoption or 
rejection, and all eyes were focused on the little New 
England State to see what her decision would be. If 

News Releases 599 

New Hampshire ratified it, the Constitution would 
become the law of the land; if not, the situation would 
remain unsettled. 

When the New Hampshire Convention at last voted 
to ratify, it did so with a suggested set of amendments 
that were quite characteristic of the State. Prominent 
among these amendments was one vigorously opposing 
the creation of a standing army. At the end of the 
Revolution New Hampshire had had enough of blood- 
shed and warfare, and wanted no national government 
to keep itself in power by means of an armed force. 

Like the people of the other States in 1788, those 
of New Hampshire were greatly stirred up over the 
Constitution. They were aware that its fate, in a sense, 
rested in their hands, and they watched with keen atten- 
tion the proceedings of the State convention elected to 
consider the instrument. 

The convention met at Exeter on the second Wednes- 
day of February, 1788. It was presided over by Gen. 
John Sullivan, of Revolutionary War fame, and among 
the delegates were such well-known Revolutionary 
figures as John Langdon, Josiah Bartlett, John Taylor 
Gilman, John Pickering, Samuel Livermore, Joshua 
Atherton, and Joseph Badger. 

Joshua Atherton delivered a historic speech on the 
slavery clause of the Constitution, bitterly denouncing 
the traffic in human beings, in what was undoubtedly 
one of the earliest abolitionist utterances in a public 
body, nearly a hundred years before the outbreak of the 
Civil War. 

The delegates to the New Hampshire Constitutional 
Convention knew that in eight other States the instru- 

600 Washington Bicentennial 

ment had passed, though by small majorities, and its 
deliberations were conducted with the utmost care. In- 
deed, so scrupulous were the State's representatives that 
by common consent they adjourned the convention 
from February to June of the same year, so that the 
decision arrived at might be one of cool judgment and 
to give the people time to weigh the Constitution and 
discuss it among themselves from every angle. 

When the convention did reconvene in June, four 
days were then enough to settle the issue. On June 21 
the final vote was taken. By the count of 57 to 46 
New Hampshire resolved to adopt, and the Constitu- 
tion of the United States thereupon became formally 

Thus June 21 becomes an outstanding date in New 
Hampshire history. Next year, says the Division of 
Information and Publication of the United States 
George Washington Bicentennial Commission, June 21 
will be a date to be noticed by the entire United States. 
For then, in 1932, the two hundredth anniversary of 
the birth of George Washington, who presided over the 
Federal convention that wrote the Constitution will be 
in progress. Just as Washington's courage and char- 
acter had carried through the Revolution itself, so his 
weight and influence directed the shaping of the Con- 
stitution and its final adoption by the States. In this 
adoption New Hampshire played the pivotal part, and 
a Nation that has risen to greatness on the basis of this 
charter of our liberties owes a thought of gratitude to 
the State that insured the full fruition of Washington's 

News Releases 601 

"Molly Pitcher" To Be Honored in '32 

June 28 will mark the 153rd anniversary of the battle 
of Monmouth, which brought into prominence a color- 
ful and heroic character of the Revolutionary War, 
"Molly Pitcher." 

When the nation-wide, nine-months' celebration of 
the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George 
Washington takes place in 1932, the name of "Molly 
Pitcher" will be remembered and honored as one of the 
picturesque women of the Revolution. This tribute 
will be paid her not only in her native State of Penn- 
sylvania and in the State of New Jersey where she dis- 
tinguished herself as a "soldier" but throughout the en- 
tire Nation. 

"Sergeant" or "Captain Molly" was a nom de guerre 
given to the wife of a soldier whom she had followed 
to the war, which was not unusual at that time. This 
soldier was named John Caspar Hayes. Private Hayes 
was probably detailed on the battle field of Monmouth 
from infantry service to help with one of the batteries. 
His wife was aiding the cause by carrying pitchers of 
water to the hot and thirsty patriots. 

When John Hayes was wounded at the side of the 
cannon where he was serving, his wife rushed to the 
cannon, grasped the ramrod and sent home the charge, 
calling to the gunners to prime and fire. It was done. 
Then, plugging the ramrod into the smoking muzzle of 
the cannon, she performed admirably the duties of an 
artilleryman while loud shouts and cheers from the sol- 
diers rang along the line, and the fire of the battery be- 
came more vivid than ever. 

"Captain Molly" kept her post until night closed the 

602 Washington Bicentennial 

action. There is a tradition that after the battle, Gen. 
Nathanael Greene complimented her upon her courage 
and conduct, and the next morning he presented her 
to General Washington, who received her graciously and 
assured the heroine that her services were appreciated, 
and would not be forgotten. 

This remarkable and intrepid woman long survived 
the Revolution* dying at Carlisle, Pa., in 1832. On the 
death of John Hayes after the war she married John Mc- 
Cauley, but until she died she never laid aside the appel- 
lation of "Captain Molly," which she had so nobly 

On February 27, 1822, the Pennsylvania Legislature 
granted her the sum of $40 and an annuity of the same 
amount. She died January 22, 1832, and is buried in 
the old Carlisle cemetery. On the 100th anniversary 
of the Declaration of Independence, the city of Carlisle 
erected a monument over the heroine's grave. 

Ancient Bell Clapper for Christ Church in Alexandria 

An ancient 14-pound bell clapper, which called 
people to services during the rectorship of Lawrence 
Washington, great great grandfather of George Wash- 
ington, when he served as rector of All Saints Purleigh 
Church, Chelensford Essex, England, from 1633 to 
1643, will be presented to Christ Church, Alexandria, 
Va., it was announced by the United States George 
Washington Bicentennial Commission. 

The presentation to the famous Virginia Church of 
which congregation George Washington was a member, 
was made by William Proctor Remington, Bishop of 

News Releases 603 

Eastern Oregon, who brought the clapper from Eng- 
land last summer. 

Bishop Remington was given the clapper by Frederick 
MacDonald, the present Rector of All Saints Purleigh 
Church. In a letter, accompanying the gift, Rector 
MacDonald said: 

"The clapper is certainly 294 years old, for it came 
out of the largest bell but one which was put up in the 
tower here in 1630. We had new clappers put in all 
five bells two years ago when we discovered that the 
smallest bell, (the treble) which bears the date of 1765, 
must have been the old treble bell recast, as it had a 
clapper exactly like the others which are still in their 
original condition. 

"If you look at the clapper which I am giving you, 
you will see on two places a polished surface where the 
clapper has struck the bell through three centuries. 
This information is to recall the almost certain fact 
that this old clapper has helped to ring joyous bells at 
the coronation of no less than thirteen sovereigns." 

Upon bringing this historic clapper to the United 
States, Bishop Remington wrote to Dr. William J. Mor- 
ton, present rector of Christ Church, expressing the 
sentiment that he would be glad to present it to Christ 
Church, in view of its historic as well as sentimental 
value in George Washington's family history. 

Christ Church was built in 1767, and the unaltered 
pew of George Washington brings back the plainer days 
when the great hero, after religious services, mingled 
with fellow worshipers and friends. It was here one 
Sunday morning in the summer of 1774, after services, 
surrounded by the congregation, every one of whom 

604 Washington Bicentennial 

he well knew, that Washington advocated withdrawing 
allegiance to King George. Nine years after, when in-